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Jarron Cumberland scores 17 to lead No. 25 Cincinnati past Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In the end, Cincinnati’s toughness — and leading scorer Jarron Cumberland recovering from a poor shooting night — helped the No. 25 Bearcats extend their winning streak to eight games.

Cumberland scored 17 points and keyed a late rally as the Bearcats defeated Memphis 69-64 on Thursday night.

“We weren’t able to get it done,” Memphis coach Penny Hardaway said, adding: “They were down in the second half, and they kept fighting and scrapping like we knew they would and we didn’t meet the challenge.”

Justin Jenifer scored 14 and Tre Scott finished with 13 points and nine rebounds as Cincinnati (20-3, 9-1 American Athletic Conference), which moved into the Top 25 this week, used a second-half rally to overcome a double-digit deficit.

“We didn’t come in not locked in and not focused, but we needed to pick up the pace,” Jenifer said. “.That was the main piece to our win today, was our defense.”

The Bearcats struggled with poor shooting and the pace of the game early. The Memphis lead reached 11 early in the second half before Cincinnati found its rhythm and began chipping into the advantage.

“We’re still learning how hard you have to play to win a game like this,” Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said. “We played harder as the game went on.”

That change in momentum came in the second half. Cincinnati struggled in the first, making only one of its last 15 shots in the half. That helped Memphis build a 35-29 lead at the break.

The lead would stretch to 11 early in the second half and Memphis still was up 44-34 with about 15 minutes to go. That was when Cincinnati began chipping away at the lead. A 12-2 run fueled by a defense that forced four Memphis turnovers, brought the Bearcats even at 46-all near the midway point of the second.

After the lead swayed back and forth, Cumberland, who struggled earlier, made the difference.

Memphis had pulled within 58-55 with 2 1/2 minutes left, when Cumberland scored the next nine Bearcat points to provide a buffer Memphis couldn’t overcome in the closing minute.

“It helps to have a great player to put the ball in the basket late in games,” Cronin said. “Jarron Cumberland is a great player.”

Jeremiah Martin led Memphis (13-10, 5-5) with 26 points, converting 8 of 14 from 3-point range. Kyvon Davenort added 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Mike Parks Jr. finished with 11 points.

Martin, who had 41 second-half points in the Tigers loss at South Florida last weekend, tried to keep pace with Cumberland, scoring eight points down the stretch, but it wasn’t enough for the Tigers to avoid their third-straight loss.

And Hardaway again, pointed to the difference in toughness at the end — Cincinnati had it; his team didn’t.

“It’s hard to do,” Hardaway said when asked how to develop tougher players. “You’ve kind of got to have it in you. That’s a product of what (the Bearcats) do. They recruit those guys.”

He added that Cronin is in his 13th season as Cincinnati coach. “He’s kind of found his system and his rhythm on players. As far as our players, there’s no way you can put toughness inside someone. You just have to go out there and battle.”


Cincinnati: The Bearcats survived a poor shooting night (39.7 percent) to keep their winning streak alive and secure their national ranking. Cincinnati won the boards 38-32, including 14 from the offensive glass, leading to 12 second-chance points.

Memphis: The Tigers, who have played well at home this year, got off to a fast start and stayed close even during the second-half Cincinnati rally. They had controlled Cumberland until the game’s latter stages, but couldn’t stop him in the final minutes.


Cincinnati: Visit Houston on Sunday afternoon

Memphis: Host UConn on Sunday afternoon.

Nike ‘working to identify issue’ that caused Zion Williamson’s shoe to blow out

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Nike released a statement on Thursday saying that they are “working to identify the issue” that caused the left shoe of Duke star Zion Williamson to burst open, leading to the 285 pound freshman to slip and injure his right knee.

“We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery,” Nike said in a statement obtained by ESPN. “The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”

The injury was termed a “mild knee sprain” by Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski after the game.

“The knee is stable,” he added. “We don’t know how long he’ll be out.”

Nike stock dropped 1% the morning after the incident.

No. 1 Duke lost 88-72 to No. 8 North Carolina at home on Wednesday evening after the injury, which occurred just 30 seconds into the game.

Dan Patrick Show: Should Zion Williamson end Duke career after knee injury?

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Duke’s Zion Williamson faces a tough decision following a scary knee injury against North Carolina: try and return for March Madness or rest up for the NBA.

DAUSTER | Zion should do whatever makes him happy

Dan Patrick Show: Nike stock drops after Zion shoe incident

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After Zion Williamson blew out his shoe, Nike stock dropped a full one percent the morning after.

Bracketology: The Zion Williamson factor for Duke

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The pertinent question this morning is the health of Zion Williamson.  Foremost, because he’s an exceptional talent and life is bigger than basketball.

The secondary component is how his injury impacts Duke – both on the court and, subsequently, the Blue Devils’ standing on the Seed List.

If last night were the eve of Selection Sunday, the Committee would be forced to make a tough decision: evaluating Duke while Zion’s future availability is unknown.

Since a decision related to today’s bracket had to be made quickly in the wee hours of the morning with little information, Duke stays put, largely because the Blue Devils own a season sweep of Virginia, and two of its losses occurred with less than a full roster.

Once we know more about Zion’s status, further review will ensue.

BRACKET UPDATE: February 21, 2019

SOUTH REGION Temple vs. Alabama

EAST Washington, DC   SOUTH – Louisville                   
Columbia Columbus
1) DUKE 1) Virginia
8) Ole Miss 8) Auburn
9) Ohio State 9) WOFFORD
Jacksonville Salt Lake City
5) Iowa State 5) Maryland
12) BELMONT 12) Temple / Alabama
4) LSU 4) Texas Tech
Hartford Hartford
6) Louisville 6) Villanova
11) Florida 11) VCU
3) MARQUETTE 3) Purdue
Des Moines Columbus
7) BUFFALO 7) Cincinnati
10) Texas 10) TCU
2) Michigan 2) Kentucky
WEST – Anaheim MIDWEST – Kansas City
Salt Lake City Columbia
8) Baylor 8) St. John’s
9) Minnesota 9) Syracuse
San Jose San Jose
5) Florida State 5) KANSAS STATE
12) NEW MEXICO ST 12) UCF / Utah State
4) NEVADA 4) Wisconsin
Tulsa Tulsa
6) Virginia Tech 6) Iowa
11) Seton Hall 11) Arizona State
3) Kansas 3) HOUSTON
Des Moines Jacksonville
7) WASHINGTON 7) Mississippi State
10) NC State 10) Oklahoma
2) MICHIGAN STATE 2) North Carolina

Last 4 Byes Last 4 IN      First 4 OUT Next 4 OUT
TCU Temple Clemson Nebraska
Seton Hall UCF Georgetown UNC-Greensboro
Arizona State Utah State Butler Lipscomb
Florida Alabama Furman Dayton

TOP SEED LINE: Duke is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Virginia, Tennessee, and Gonzaga

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (8): DUKE, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida State, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, NC State

Big 10 (8): MICHIGAN STATE, Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, Ohio State, Minnesota

BIG 12 (8): KANSAS STATE, Kansas, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma, TCU

SEC (8): TENNESSEE, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Auburn, Florida, Alabama

Big East (4): VILLANOVA, Marquette, St. John’s, Seton Hall

American (4): HOUSTON, Cincinnati, Temple, UCF

Pac 12 (2): WASHINGTON, Arizona State

Mountain West (2): NEVADA, Utah State

Southern (1): WOFFORD

Atlantic 10 (1): VCU

Mid American (1): BUFFALO

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Canisius (MAAC), Old Dominion (C-USA), Texas State (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Northern Kentucky (HORIZON), Sam Houston (SLND), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Liberty (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Hofstra (CAA), Radford (BSO), Norfolk State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Lehigh (PAT), St. Francis (PA) (NEC), Prairie View (SWAC)

Report: Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim hits, kills pedestrian on highway


Jim Boeheim struck and killed a pedestrian walking outside of his car on I-690 on Wednesday night, just hours after his Syracuse Orange beat No. 18 Louisville at the Carrier Dome.

The man — identified as 51-year old Jorge Jimenez of Syracuse — was in a car with four other people that lost control on the highway, struck a guard rail and came to rest in the middle of the road, according to police. At some point, he got out of the car and was walking along the highway, which is when Boeheim hit him as he tried to avoid the disabled vehicle, which was in the road.

“I am heartbroked that a member of our community died as a result of last night’s accident,” Boeheim said in a statement released on Thursday afternoon. “Juli and I extend our deepest sympathies to the Jimenez family. Out of respect for those involved, I will not be providing further comment at this time.”

The incident occurred at 11:22 p.m. ET.

Boeheim remained at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation. He was given a field sobriety test at the scene and police determined that he was not impaired at the time. Speeds could not be determined, according to police, but Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick told WSYR that Boeheim was driving at the proper speed for a highway.

“We are saddened by the death of a member of our Central New York community,” Syracuse AD Jim Wildhack said. “On behalf of Chancellor Kent Syverud and the entire Syracuse University community, we extend our deepest condolences to all impacted by this tragic accident. Coach Boeheim is in contact with local authorities and cooperating fully. Out of respect for those grieving, there will be no further comment at this time.”