HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. — Jacob Evans III scored 18 points, hitting the pivotal shots during Cincinnati’s rally from an 18-point deficit, and the eighth-ranked Bearcats extended the nation’s longest home-court winning streak by beating Houston 80-70 on Wednesday night.
After trailing 33-15, the Bearcats (20-2, 9-0 American Athletic) closed out the first half with a flourish that featured Evans’ steal and banked-in 3-pointer at the buzzer. His 3 gave Cincinnati its first lead of the second half.
Cincinnati has won 13 in a row since back-to-back losses against Xavier and Florida, the only ranked teams it has played. The Bearcats have won 38 straight home games, the longest active streak.
Houston (16-5, 6-3) couldn’t get a breakthrough win in the series. The Cougars fell to 0-16 on the Bearcats’ home court and 2-30 overall against Cincinnati.
The Cougars stunned the Bearcats by getting eight steals and rolling out to the big early lead. Gary Clark hit a 3-pointer that stopped the Cougars’ 26-7 run, and he added another 3 and a pair of free throws that got the Bearcats going. Clark finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Houston’s Rob Gray came in leading the AAC at 18.7 points per game but managed only nine on 4-of-15 shooting. Corey Davis Jr. led the Cougars with 18 points.
Houston: The Cougars beat then-No. 7 Wichita State 73-59 at home on Jan. 20, got votes in the AP poll and were looking for a signature road win at BB&T Arena. They faded down the stretch, getting outscored 24-14 over the final 10 minutes.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats have had only one close call since getting into league play, a 55-53 win at Temple. The only currently ranked team left on their schedule is No. 16 Wichita State.
Houston: Plays at Central Florida on Saturday. The teams split their series last season.
Cincinnati: Plays at Connecticut on Saturday. The Bearcats won all three games between the teams last season, including the conference tournament.