The ball dropped a few hours early on a new year of American Athletic Conference play for the Memphis Tigers. And the 21st-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats provided a 40-minute measure of the gap Memphis must close before it can again be considered a contender for the AAC title. Gary Clark scored 13 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the Bearcats, and Clark is merely one of three Cincinnati starters named second-team all-conference in the preseason coaches poll (along with Kyle Washington and Jacob Evans).
Cincinnati secured the win by halftime with a lead of 35-16. The margin expanded to 30 points merely four minutes into the second half. The Bearcats shot 52 percent from the field (and hit 9 of 18 three-point attempts) while Memphis was limited to 32 percent and missed 18 of 22 long-distance shots.
led the Tigers with 17 points off the bench. Point guard Jeremiah Martin
was limited to eight points, less than half his average entering the contest. Mike Parks
was the only other Tiger in double-figure scoring (10).
The loss drops Memphis to 9-5 on the season and gives the Tigers their first losing streak of the winter. Cincinnati improves to 12-2. (The game was played in Newport, Kentucky, as Cincinnati's home arena undergoes significant renovations.)
The Tigers travel to Orlando to face UCF on Wednesday before returning to FedExForum next Saturday to host Tulsa.