HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Western Carolina men’s basketball team faced its first nationally-ranked opponent of the season Monday night as the Catamounts travelled north to face No. 12/13 Cincinnati. The Bearcats used a smothering full court press for most of the 40 minute contest and pulled away for a 102-51 victory. Freshman Matt Halvorsen posted his first career double-figure scoring effort as he led the Catamounts with 15 points in the loss.
The rookie knocked down a trio of 3-pointers in the opening half to try and spur the Catamounts to a comeback effort. Senior Deriece Parks added 10 points while knocking down a pair of triples and going 4-of-6 from the field.
Junior Mike Amius added seven points and a team-high four rebounds. He also led the team with three steals and a block.
The loss drops WCU’s record to 0-2 to open the season while the Bearcats improved to 2-0.
Cincinnati was led by Jarron Cumberland who scored a game-high 20 points. Three other Bearcats reached double-figures in the victory.
UC controlled the boards, out-rebounding WCU 47-28 and benefitted from a 34-18 advantage in trips to the free throw line. The Bearcats also won the turnover battle 22-13 which led to a 29-13 advantage in points off turnovers.
The Catamounts connected on 32.1 percent of its shots from the field while knocking down 31.3 percent from beyond the 3-point line. Cincinnati on the other hand shot at a 51.6 percent clip and was 42.9 percent from long range.
Western Carolina will look to pick up its first victory of the season as the Catamounts play their first home game of the season this Wednesday, Feb. 15. WCU will host Hiwassee inside the Ramsey Center with the game slated for a 7 pm tip-off.