NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Kyle Washington had 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, and 10th-ranked Cincinnati clinched a share of the American Athletic Conference title with a 78-49 victory over Tulane on Thursday night.
Cane Broome scored 13 for the Bearcats (26-4, 15-2 American), whose stifling defensive play helped them build leads as large as 19 in the first half and 33 in the second.
The Bearcats can clinch the title outright with a victory at No. 11 Wichita State on Sunday.
Bearcats leading scorer and Baton Rouge-native Jacob Evans III hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 points before hurting his ankle with 8 minutes left in the first half. He needed help to get to the locker room initially. He limped back to the bench before the first half ended, but never checked back in.
Cincinnati appeared unfazed by Evans’ absence and continued to consolidate its grip on the game. Broome and Washington each scored four points during a 10-0 run that made it 35-17. Washington’s layup several minutes later pushed the lead to 39-20 by halftime.
Melvin Frazier scored 13 points and Cameron Reynolds nine for Tulane (14-15, 5-12), which trailed for good after Jerron Cumberland’s free throws put Cincinnati ahead 7-5 with 16:14 left in the first half.
The Bearcats blew the game wide open with a 12-0 second-half run during which Washington scored five straight on a jumper and a 3. The spurt gave Cincinnati a 61-28 lead.