Cincinnati 68, Rutgers 58

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Cincinnati found out there's no place like the road to snap a losing streak, especially in an arena that can be cruel to its visitors.
The Bearcats (14-3, 2-2 Big East), No. 21 in the AP poll, didn't particularly shoot the ball well against Rutgers on Saturday night, but did just enough to post a 68-58 win over their Big East conference foe before 5,560 at the Rutgers Athletic Center.
In addition to ending the three-game skid, all at home, the victory for Cincinnati was especially meaningful as it prepares to play four of its next six games on the road. Coach Mick Cronin's team faces DePaul, Syracuse, Seton Hall and Providence over the next three weeks.
Cincinnati is 6-0 on the road this season. It was paced by Cashmere Wright's 23 points.
The RAC, as it is affectionately referred to, is considered one of the loudest and most intimidating on-campus arena's in the country. But the Bearcats, with help from Rutgers' poor shooting, did an effective job of taking the crowd out of the game.
Rutgers closed to 10 points several times late in the game, only to see the Bearcats put together mini spurts. The Knights moved to within eight points at 64-56, but there was just 46 seconds left to play.
Cincinnati closed it out with a 4-0 spurt to stay ahead, 68-56.
Rutgers (11-4, 2-2) was attempting to go 3-1 in the conference for the first time since it joined the Big East in 1995. However, coach Mike Rice's team never got into an offensive rhythm, taking low-percentage shots and getting beat to too many loose balls.
The Scarlet Knights were outrebounded, 41-34, and were led by 15 points from guard Myles Mack.
Both teams shot 37.7 percent from the field.
The Bearcats led 27-15 at the half despite their worst shooting performance from the floor this season. They made just 9 of 30 for 29 percent from the field and 4 of 16 from 3-point range.
A combination of poor shooting and tight defense by both teams resulted in five minutes going by in the first half before the first field goal was made, a 3-pointer from JaQuon Parker of Cincinnati.
Rutgers struggled from the floor in the early going as well. It converted just one of its first nine shots while committing four turnovers in the first 13 minutes. The Scarlet Knights were particularly ineffective from long range, failing to knock down any of their six 3-point attempts in the half.
The Bearcats took advantage of the Scarlet Knights' sloppy play by going on an 8-0 spurt to grab a 19-7 cushion with 5:34 remaining in the half.
NOTES: Rutgers guard Myles Mack leads the Big East in free-throw percentage (.917) and is fourth in 3-point field-goal percentage (.481), sixth in steals (2.07) and 10th in field-goal percentage (.545). ... Cashmere Wright, a senior, needs 11 steals and 79 assists to become the career leader for the Bearcats. ... For the second straight game, Cincinnati wore its "black out" uniforms. The Bearcats donned them Monday in a 66-60 loss to Notre Dame.

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