CINCINNATI — Jacob Evans III scored 12 of his 15 points during Cincinnati’s dominant first half on Thursday night, and the 15th-ranked Bearcats held on for their 25th straight home victory, 87-74 over Memphis.
Cincinnati (25-3, 14-1 American Athletic) led by as many as 24 points during its highest-scoring opening half in conference play this season, pulling ahead 51-32 at the break. The Tigers cut the lead to six points before fading.
The Bearcats’ front line dominated. Gary Clark had 13 points and nine rebounds while Kyle Washington had 16 points and six rebounds.
Memphis (18-10, 8-7) has dropped a season-high three straight. Jeremiah Martin led the Tigers with 23 points and Dedric Lawson had 21 with 10 rebounds.
The Tigers cut the lead to 75-69 on Martin’s three-point play with 5:18 left. Evans’ 3-pointer — his only basket of the second half — ended the comeback.
Memphis: Lawson got his 35th double-double, the sixth-most by an active player. His 18 double-doubles this season are a career high for the sophomore. He has 282 rebounds this season. The AAC record is 321 by UConn’s Daniel Hamilton.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats’ 25 straight home wins match the second-longest streak at Fifth Third Arena, which opened in 1989. The arena record is 41 straight wins from 1997-2000.
The Bearcats have won four straight since a 60-51 loss at SMU on Feb. 12, minimizing the damage of their only conference loss.
Memphis: The Tigers host Houston on Saturday. They won at Houston 79-67 in overtime on Jan. 19.