Cincy looks to bounce back vs. Texas Southern

BY foxsports • December 12, 2016

CINCINNATI -- Still smarting from a loss at Butler on Saturday, the 25th-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats will try to get back on track when they begin a streak of three straight home games Tuesday night against Texas Southern.

The Bearcats lost 75-65 to the 18th-ranked Bulldogs at Hinkle Fieldhouse despite a season-high 22 points from senior guard Troy Caupain.

Caupain showed signs of finding his shooting stroke in the past two games but is only 9 of 39 from 3-point range through nine games. Against Butler, Caupain was 2 of 7 from behind the arc, but he hit 9 of 15 field-goal attempts overall.

"It's all about confidence," Caupain told the Bearcats' website. "I knew they were gonna fall. It's just about when I was gonna decide that it was time to do it. (I) started it (in practice). I hope it keeps going."

Cincinnati (7-2) expects Kyle Washington to rebound from a dismal outing at Butler. He played just 19 minutes before fouling out with seven points and zero rebounds in the loss, which snapped a five-game winning streak for the Bearcats.

"I thought the game was extremely physical, and that's not Kyle Washington's style of play," coach Mick Cronin said. "I was extremely concerned with the way the game was being played."

Washington and Jacob Evans each scored in double figures in eight of nine games this season. Washington ranks 14th nationally with five double-doubles.

The Bearcats continue to ride the production of Gary Clark, who is averaging 11 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 55.6 percent over his past three games.

Clark enters Tuesday's game needing just two rebounds to become the fourth player in the Cronin era to compile at least 600 boards.

Texas Southern (4-5) is no stranger to being on the road. The Tigers play their first 16 games of the season away from home, and they have only nine home games scheduled all season.

"In 15 years, they will be able to say they got to go places, see places, play in some historical arenas," coach Mike Davis said. "At some of these big schools, you can get around $350,000 to put back into the school."

It comes at a price, of course.

Texas Southern is coming off a 102-71 loss at No. 11 Louisville. Earlier this season, the Tigers lost at No. 19 Arizona. Following Tuesday night's game against the Bearcats, the Tigers travel to LSU, then to TCU, then to Baylor, which currently is ranked fourth in the AP poll.

The Tigers are averaging 72 points per game with four players scoring in double figures.

On Saturday at Louisville, freshman guard Demontrae Jefferson made his debut and scored 27 points on 10-of-30 shooting. Derrick Griffin had 15 points and 26 rebounds, the most rebounds for any player in a single Division I game this season.

However, it will take contributions from more than a couple players for Texas Southern to become the first Southwestern Athletic Conference opponent to defeat Cincinnati. The Bearcats are 14-0 all-time against SWAC foes.

The Bearcats, who are 3-0 all-time against the Tigers, have won 13 consecutive games at Fifth Third Arena dating to a 77-70 loss to Temple on Dec. 29, 2015.

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