Cincinnati Bearcats: Advance to AAC Tournament Finals with Strong Second Half against Memphis Tigers
In the first American Athletic Conference semifinals matchup, No. 8 Cincinnati Bearcats took on the Memphis Tigers who were looking to keep their Cinderella story alive and make a run for the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
Memphis won the tip ball, and started the game off hot right away, with a 9-2 run within the first three minutes of the game. But after Memphis went cold shooting, Cincinnati was able to reel the game back in, going on a 7-2 run in five minutes. The teams traded shots back and forth, but Jamal Johnson stayed on fire with his shooting skills and put Memphis on his back to keep the lead.
But every time Memphis was trying to extend the lead, Gary Clark from Cincinnati was keeping them in the game for a majority of the first half. At halftime, Memphis was up 42-29 on Cincinnati with leading scorer being Jamal Johnson with 17 points and being perfect from the field (5-5). Cincinnati’s leading scorer, Gary Clark, had nine points in the first half and was doing what he could to bring Cincinnati back into the game.
The start of the second half, Memphis looked to continue the Cinderella story and upset Memphis. But was cut down short when Cincinnati opened up the half with a 10-0 run to bring their deficit to three points.
Jamal Johnson went cold in the second half, only scoring two points throughout the majority of the second half. Gary Clark continued to carry the am, but was able to get some help from his teammates Washington and Cumberland. The duo combined for 29 points in the second half.
With Cincinnati able to contain Johnson and Memphis in the second half, it was able to come away with the win, 70-60. The Bearcats will celebrate their victory until they face the winner of the Houston vs Wichita State game on Sunday.
Be sure to stay tuned to find out who will be the AAC Champion and have an automatic bid into the 2018 NCAA Tournament.