Monday, November 24, 2014
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Cincinnati 54, Eastern Illinois 49

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[November 24, 2014]  Cincinnati 54, Eastern Illinois 49: Troy Caupain scored 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting as the Bearcats held off a strong challenge from the visiting Panthers.

Octavius Ellis collected 13 rebounds and four blocks to go with seven points for Cincinnati (3-0), which improved to 41-5 against current members of the Ohio Valley Conference. Shaq Thomas added nine points for the Bearcats, who survived despite 19 turnovers.

Eastern Illinois (1-3) took care of the ball, committing only nine turnovers, but had difficulty putting it in the basket, shooting 29.5 percent. Trae Anderson and Reggie Smith each scored 12 points to pace the Panthers while Chris Olivier added 11.

Neither team led by more than five until the Panthers went cold in the second half and allowed Cincinnati to ease away. After Olivier pulled Eastern Illinois within 41-40 with 10:41 left, the Panthers missed 12 of their next 13 field-goal attempts and went scoreless nearly 5 1/2 minutes as the Bearcats pulled out to a 51-42 lead and held on.

The Bearcats looked as though they might begin to pull away when they reeled off a 6-0 spurt capped by Caupain's jumper to make it 20-15 with 6:39 left in the first half, but Olivier responded with a jumper and Smith converted a three-point play to tie it. The teams traded scores for the remainder of the half and went to the locker room tied at 26 after Thomas tipped in a Farad Cobb miss at the buzzer.

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GAME NOTEBOOK: The Bearcats have won 53 of their last 57 regular-season home games against non-conference opponents and are 21-1 at home since the start of last season. Eastern Illinois entered the game shooting 42 percent from 3-point range but was just 3-of-17 from behind the arc. Cincinnati G Kevin Johnson, who made his first career start in place of Ge'Lawn Guyn (finger), was 0-for-6 from the field and finished with two points.

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