Vaughn leads Cincinnati to 69-57 win over SC-Upstate

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CINCINNATI (AP)—Deonta Vaughn scored 19 points Monday night, taking advantage of open shots from behind the 3-point arc, and Cincinnati pulled away to a 69-57 victory over winless South Carolina-Upstate.

Cincinnati (4-2) broke the game open in the second half behind Vaughn, who went 5-of-8 from behind the arc overall. Adam Hrycaniuk added 13 points and 10 rebounds, helping the bigger Bearcats dominate the boards.

Luke Payne scored 19 points for South Carolina-Upstate (0-6), which is having a rough introduction to Division I. The young Spartans have played all their games on the road, losing five of them by double-digits.

Fellow Atlantic Sun member Belmont opened the season with an 86-75 victory at Cincinnati on Nov. 9, a tip-off that the Bearcats were headed for a rough opening stretch of their own. Coach Mick Cronin, in his second season digging out from the aftermath of Bob Huggins’ ouster, has tried just about everything to get a good combination on the floor.

He’s got more experimenting ahead.

Though bigger and quicker, the Bearcats again struggled in the first half against a team that didn’t make a lot of mistakes. At one point, Cronin sent out a lineup of four freshmen and Hrycaniuk, a senior center.

There were four ties and six lead changes in the opening 16 minutes, with neither team up by more than three. S.C.-Upstate, which had only two turnovers to that point, committed three during a late 10-point run by Cincinnati. Vaughn had 3-pointers that started and finished the run, putting the Bearcats ahead to stay 30-22.

Cincinnati broke the game open by pushing the pace and hitting open 3-pointers. Larry Davis, Vaughn and Marvin Gentry made 3s during a 13-point run that put Cincinnati ahead 58-38 midway through the second half.

The Spartans never got closer than 11 points the rest of the way.

Cincinnati dominated the boards 44-31, but went only 6-of-14 on free throws.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 South Carolina Upstate
L. Payne L. Payne
7-13,  19 Pts
2 Rebs, 2 Assists
 Cincinnati
D. Vaughn D. Vaughn
6-9,  19 Pts
4 Rebs, 9 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists