Cincinnati Bearcats ride balanced offensive attack past Wichita State, snap out of skid

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David DeJulius scored 17 points to lead a balanced offensive attack, as the University of Cincinnati men's basketball team defeated Wichita State 85-76 Thursday night at Fifth Third Arena.

Mika Adams-Woods added 15 points, six rebounds and three assists to help Cincinnati (17-9, 7-6 American Athletic Conference) avoid its third straight loss and complete the regular-season sweep of the Shockers. The Bearcats picked up a 61-57 road win Jan. 16 at Wichita State.

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"I'm pleased that we're back in the win column," UC coach Wes Miller said. "Sometimes when you go through a stretch – you lose three of four and two in a row – you just want to find a way to win a game. I thought we had that kind of mentality tonight. ... That's the characteristic of a team, right? It doesn't mean you're going to win every night, but winning is a characteristic, and the mentality to win, that's really important. We're still developing that. But it's a step in the right direction tonight."

Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Wes Miller shouts to his offense in the first half of the NCAA American Athletic Conference basketball game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Wichita State Shockers at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. The Bearcats led 42-35 at halftime.
Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Wes Miller shouts to his offense in the first half of the NCAA American Athletic Conference basketball game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Wichita State Shockers at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. The Bearcats led 42-35 at halftime.

With Abdul Ado back in the starting lineup after missing Tuesday night's game with an ankle injury, Cincinnati appeared to have a pep in its step early. UC grabbed a quick 9-3 advantage before Ado picked up two quick fouls and headed to the bench.

Cincinnati stayed hot, knocking down five of its first seven shots. Adams-Woods and John Newman III hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Bearcats ahead 15-7 inside the 15:00 mark.

"I thought the ball really moved early," Miller said. "That's probably the most fluid we've looked offensively in a long, long time."

Shooting 79% (11-for-14) from the field, including 88% (7-for-8) from 3-point range in the opening minutes, UC stormed out to a 32-11 lead before cooling off and going into halftime ahead 42-35.

Cincinnati Bearcats guard Mika Adams-Woods (23) lays up a shot ahead of Wichita State Shockers guard Craig Porter Jr. (3) in the first half of the NCAA American Athletic Conference basketball game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Wichita State Shockers at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. The Bearcats led 42-35 at halftime.
Cincinnati Bearcats guard Mika Adams-Woods (23) lays up a shot ahead of Wichita State Shockers guard Craig Porter Jr. (3) in the first half of the NCAA American Athletic Conference basketball game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Wichita State Shockers at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. The Bearcats led 42-35 at halftime.

"There's ebbs and flows throughout games. Basketball's a game of runs," said UC guard Mason Madsen, who finished with nine points on a perfect 3-for-3 from 3-point range. "Obviously, we got hot, and then they got hot. It's not going to be that lopsided all game and we knew that. So just to kind of bounce back in the second half and get back to guarding was probably the main message in the locker room."

Eight different players scored in the first half for Cincinnati. All of them had at least four points.

Wichita State guard Dexter Dennis scored 10 of his 14 points before intermission.

Cincinnati Bearcats forward Ody Oguama (33) cheers on a three point basket by guard Mike Saunders Jr. (3) in the second half of the NCAA American Athletic Conference basketball game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Wichita State Shockers at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. The Bearcats carried a halftime lead to win 85-76 in the conference matchup.
Cincinnati Bearcats forward Ody Oguama (33) cheers on a three point basket by guard Mike Saunders Jr. (3) in the second half of the NCAA American Athletic Conference basketball game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Wichita State Shockers at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. The Bearcats carried a halftime lead to win 85-76 in the conference matchup.

The Bearcats shot 57% (17-for-30) the rest of the way and a season-high 58% (11-for-19) from deep to at least take a step out of the hole they dug for themselves over the past three-plus weeks.

Ricky Council IV, averaging 15.2 points over the last six games, finished with a team-high 17 for the Shockers (13-10, 4-7). Last season's AAC Co-Player of the Year Tyson Etienne had 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting.

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Newman, who injured his ankle on a dunk, added 13 points for Cincinnati, which closes out its three-game home stand Sunday against Temple. Tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. on ESPN2.

The Bearcats fell 61-58 at Temple on Jan. 25. The loss snapped UC's then-three-game win streak.

UC will honor the 1961 and '62 national championship teams Sunday at halftime.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Cincinnati basketball: Bearcats pick up home win against Wichita State