Final OT

Murray State 75

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Cincinnati 79

(1-0, 1-0 home)

    7:00 PM ET, November 19, 2005

    Fifth Third Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio

    1 2 OT T
    MURR 33 37 575
    CIN 35 35 979

    Top Performers

    Murray St: T. Pearson 18 Pts, 7 Reb, 4 Stl

    Cincinnati: E. Hicks 18 Pts, 10 Reb, 1 Ast

    Cincinnati 79, Murray State 75 (OT)

    CINCINNATI (AP) -- James White led a last-minute comeback that sent it to overtime Saturday, and Cincinnati pulled away to a 79-75 victory over Murray State in the Bearcats' first game since Bob Huggins was ousted as coach.

    With the Bearcats (1-0) in danger of losing their home opener for the first time in 40 years, the senior forward took charge. He made a three-point play with 45 seconds to go, then stripped Trey Pearson for a tying layup with 5.8 seconds left as Murray State (0-1) failed to run down the clock.

    White's bank shot opened the overtime and gave the Bearcats their first lead since the 13:33 mark of the second half. He finished with a game-high 18 points.

    Only 8,088 fans -- roughly 5,000 below capacity -- showed up for Cincinnati's first regular-season game without Huggins, who was ousted in August by school president Nancy Zimpher. Fans in the student section booed when Zimpher's name was mentioned over the public address system during a pregame welcoming message.

    Zimpher got rid of Huggins because she didn't like the program's image -- players getting in trouble off the court. A little more than an hour before tipoff, Cincinnati announced that senior point guard Chadd Moore would sit out the first five games for playing in a summer league without clearance.

    Instead, two of Huggins' former assistants ran the game.

    Interim Bearcats coach Andy Kennedy got a pregame visit from Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, who then took his customary seat across from the Cincinnati bench. He also got a handshake from Murray State coach Mick Cronin, who was Huggins' top assistant until 2001.

    Kennedy wants the Bearcats to play a more uptempo game, looking for fastbreaks whenever possible. When the Racers took the fastbreak away, Cincinnati struggled to hit shots.

    Power forward Eric Hicks, the Bearcats' best front-line scoring threat, went to the bench in with a bloody nose. Murray State, picked as the Ohio Valley Conference's preseason favorite, kept it close until he returned midway through the first half.

    Hicks scored on a fastbreak dunk, a turnaround jumper and a pair of free throws, putting Cincinnati up 22-16. The Bearcats' trademark man-to-man defense then dug in, helping them push the lead to 10.

    Pearson, the preseason pick as the OVC's player of the year, missed his first six shots. He made three free throws in the closing minute of the half, helping Murray State close to 35-33.

    Pearson asserted himself in the second half, helping Murray State pull ahead by as many as eight points. He finished with 18 points overall on 4-of-12 shooting, hitting all eight of his free throws.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 75 79
    FG Made-Attempted 27-70 (.386) 26-66 (.394)
    3P Made-Attempted 9-26 (.346) 5-19 (.263)
    FT Made-Attempted 12-13 (.923) 22-28 (.786)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 17 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 8 10

    2005-06 Season

    » Nov 19, 2005 @CIN 79, MURR 75Recap