Men’s team drops last old conference rivalry matchup with Cincinnati


Nithin Reddy Nagapur

Sophomore guard Melvion Flanagan keeps the ball away from the Cincinnati player gaurding him on Jan. 5.

The men’s basketball team’s matchup against Cincinnati ended in a 70-61 loss last night, marking the end of the American Athletic Conference. Next year, the Bearcats will head to the Big XII Conference.

Senior Craig Porter Jr. returned to the starting lineup from an ankle injury. Porter scored a team-high 19 points.

However, the Shockers gave up 43 rebounds and recorded only four assists. Porter said the lack of assists really comes down to not making wide open shots when he and his team need to.

“It’s really just simple,” Porter said. “We are not executing our stuff to a high enough standard that we are supposed to, and when we do, we get good results.”

The Bearcats jumped on the Shockers early and were up 39-22 at halftime. Cincinnati out rebounded the Shockers 25-15 in the first half.

Head coach Isaac Brown said his team has been defending well until their two losses to ECU and Cincinnati. 

“We just gotta do a better job of keeping the ball out of the paint, defending at the three point line and not giving up second shots,” Brown said.

Sophomore forward Kenny Pohto said part of the issue with the team’s lack of rebounding is not rebounding as a team. Meaning, every player on the court needs to box their man out so someone can grab the rebound.

“I feel like I was boxing my guy out, but everybody has to box their guy out because I can’t get the rebound with five guys,” Pohto said.

Pohto said in order for his team to start wining conference games, they need to put together a full 40 minutes of strong play on both sides of the ball.

“We gotta start playing hard in the beginning, but we start playing hard in the last five minutes … that’s too late,” Pohto said. “That’s what we gotta work on.”

Up next, the men will play at South Florida on Jan. 8 at noon. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and KEYN 103.7. South Florida is 0-2 in AAC play with losses to Memphis and Temple earlier this month.