Freshmen Stephenson and Wright lead No. 19 Cincinnati to 63-59 win over Miami (Ohio)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

No. 19 Cincinnati beats Miami (Ohio) 63-59

CINCINNATI — Lance Stephenson scored a season-high 17 points and fellow freshman Cashmere Wright added 12 as No. 19 Cincinnati held off Miami, Ohio for a 63-59 victory Thursday night.

The Bearcats (6-1) won their second straight game after their first loss of the season, 61-59 in overtime against Gonzaga on Nov. 25. Cincinnati, which has won 11 straight in the in-state series, hadn’t played since beating Texas Southern 94-57 on Dec. 1.

Kenny Hayes had 19 points for Miami, while Nick Winbush and Julian Mavunga each added 13. The RedHawks (2-7) have lost three straight and were playing the second of three games in six days.

Stephenson’s previous high was 16 points in a 92-68 win over Toledo in the second game of the season on Nov. 18. Wright matched the season-high 12 points he scored in a 69-62 season-opening win over Prairie View A&M two days earlier.

There were scattered boos early in the first half when a photo of former Bearcats football coach Brian Kelly was shown on the videoboard, which was showing the telecast of the game. Kelly left Cincinnati on Thursday to take over at Notre Dame.

Stephenson had 10 points and six rebounds as the Bearcats took a 24-23 halftime lead after holding a nine-point lead with 10:17 left.

Cincinnati opened up a 39-30 on a 3-pointer by Larry Davis with 14:18 left in the game, but Miami again fought back to trim the lead to two twice while Wright was scoring six straight points to personally hold off the RedHawks.

Cincinnati never trailed after Wright’s free throw gave it a 7-6 lead with 13:45 left in the first half.

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