Cincinnati 101, Radford 70

Point guard Cashmere Wright scored a career-high 25 points, and

Cincinnati won its second straight game with two starters

suspended, beating Radford 101-70 on Saturday.

The Bearcats (7-3) opened with a 12-point run and kept going

against the Highlanders (3-9), who have lost eight in a row.

There was no drama to Cincinnati’s first home game since its

loss at Xavier that ended in a brawl a week earlier. Each school

suspended four players, handing out punishments ranging from one to

six games.

The Bearcats were missing power forward Yancy Gates and center

Cheikh Mbodj, serving the second of their six-game suspensions.

Reserve point guard Ge’Lawn Guyn was back after a one-game penalty

and scored five points.

Jareal Smith had 22 points for Radford. Cincinnati scored 100

points for the first time since Dec. 30, 2005, when it beat North

Carolina A&T 105-69 under interim coach Andy Kennedy.

The 4,771 fans at the contest saw a reinvented Cincinnati

offense that’s doing quite well without its two starting front-line

players. Coach Mick Cronin completely changed the Bearcats’ style

with Gates and Mbodj gone, going to a guard-driven approach that

encourages players to take any open shot.

So far, against two overmatched teams, it has worked.

Cincinnati won by 20 points on Wednesday night at Wright State,

with the Bearcats making a season-high 14 3-pointers out of 32

attempts. They shot away again on Saturday and made 60 percent from

the field, including 10 of 21 from behind the arc.

Four players finished in double figures. Sean Kilpatrick added

16 points, Dion Dixon had 15 and Jermaine Sanders scored 12.

The Bearcats can get away with the depleted front line for most

of that six-game span, which includes games against Wright State,

Radford, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Chicago State, Oklahoma and the Big

East opener at Pittsburgh on Jan. 1.

There was no problem against undersized Radford, which couldn’t

keep up in any way with what’s left of the Bearcats. Cincinnati

scored the first 10 points without missing a shot, and had plenty

of wide-open ones during an opening 19-2 run. Guyn scored his first

basket as part of a three-point play that pushed it to 22-5.

Wright’s unguarded 3 built the lead to 34-7 midway through the

first half. It was 47-17 with 4:27 to go before halftime.

Cincinnati scored 55 points in the first half alone, two more than

in its loss at No. 8 Xavier.