HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KY — Cincinnati pulled away in the latter portion of the second half for an 86-60 American Athletic Conference win over East Carolina on Saturday.
The contest was played at Northern Kentucky’s BB&T Arena. The Bearcats are playing their home games at NKU during an $87 million renovation of Fifth Third Arena, Cincinnati’s home facility.
ECU, a 29-point underdog, stayed within striking distance for much of the way but was outscored 23-7 over the last 10:45 by the Bearcats, ranked No. 12 and No. 11 in the major polls.
Isaac Fleming and Shawn Williams had 15 points each for ECU, which slipped to 8-11 overall and 2-6 in the AAC.
Williams started and had 13 points in the first half as the Pirates were within 46-38 at the break.
ECU made 16 of 29 field goal attempts in the first 20 minutes for 55.2 percent. The shooting accuracy diminished to nine of 30 in the second half, 30 percent.
Kentrell Barkley had 10 points, eight rebounds, three assists and blocked three shots for the Pirates.
Dimitri Spasojevic had eight points and four rebounds in 19 minutes.
B.J. Tyson had seven points. Jabari Craig added three points and Aaron Jackson rounded out the scoring for the visitors with two points.
Cincinnati (17-2, 6-0) got 17 points each from Jacob Evans and Kyle Washington. Gary Clark added 14 points and 14 rebounds. Jarron Cumberland also had 14 points.
The Bearcats had a 46-29 rebounding advantage and also used their inside strength for a 50-24 lead in points in the paint.
“We need to sustain our play for longer periods,” said interim ECU coach Michael Perry.
The Pirates return to action on Sunday, Jan. 28, for a 2 p.m. tipoff at Southern Methodist.