Cincinnati 81, Chattanooga 51
CINCINNATI (AP)—Freshman point guard Chadd Moore made his first start and steadied Cincinnati through a 17-point run that ended the first half and sent the Bearcats to an 81-51 victory Thursday night over Chattanooga.
Cincinnati (7-3) broke open a back-and-forth game by dominating the last 4 1/2 minutes of the first half, pulling ahead 41-25. Moore had three free throws and a driving bank shot that completed the run with 5 seconds left.
Unable to pull away, the Bearcats turned to their half-court trapping defense and rattled Chattanooga (9-3), which failed to score after Ray Trowell’s two free throws put the Mocs up 25-24 with 4:52 left in the half. Chattanooga had a season-high 31 turnovers in the game.
Field Williams led Cincinnati with 17 points, and power forward Jason Maxiell dominated the front line, scoring 12 points and getting 11 rebounds.
Bryan Richardson had 15 points for Chattanooga, which was playing its first road game in a month.
Senior point guard Taron Barker, who had started each of the first nine games, was sidelined with a sore lower back, giving Moore a chance to make a first impression. The freshman had appeared in only two games, missing his only shot while on the floor for a total of five minutes.
Moore blocked Jason Rogan’s layup off the opening tip, setting the tone. He had eight points and five assists as Cincinnati took control in the first half, and finished with 12 points and eight assists.
Coach Bob Huggins, who had a massive heart attack Sept. 28, was generally subdued as neither team gained a toehold in the first 15 minutes—four ties, five lead changes, neither team ahead by more than five points.
Maxiell’s turnaround jumper put Cincinnati ahead to stay and started the 17-point run. Williams opened the second half with a 3-pointer, giving Cincinnati 20 consecutive points.
Huggins, wearing a black Cincinnati warmup jacket, became animated during the clinching run. When Moore was called for a foul while trying to make a steal, Huggins wheeled and smacked his hand on the scorer’s table four times, sending loud thuds through the arena.
He became enraged when the Bearcats went soft after building a 26-ponit lead in the second half. After Cincinnati twice turned the ball over against the press, Huggins called a timeout, screamed at his players and replaced all five on the floor.
His flushed bright red when he called another timeout two minutes later to berate a player for giving up a layup. He once again replaced all five players with four minutes left.