|(utsports.com) CINCINNATI, Ohio – Despite four Vols scoring in double digits and a perfect shooting night from the free-throw line, a late Cincinnati run pushed the Bearcats past Tennessee, 78-66, on Wednesday night at Fifth Third Arena.
The Vols fell to 7-3, while Cincinnati improved its record to 7-4.
Senior Lamonte Turner fought through early foul trouble to pour in 12 points, six of which came from the foul line.
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Senior Jordan Bowden had a solid night, scoring 13 points and dishing off a season-high six assists.
Junior Yves Pons dropped 11 points, breaking into double digits for the seventh time this season. Coming into the year, he had scored double-digit points just once. Pons also recorded a block for the 10th consecutive contest, marking the longest streak since Grant Williams logged at least one block in 10 straight games last season.
John Fulkerson was efficient from the field once again, tallying a team-high 14 points and knocking down six of his eight attempts from the field.
The Bearcats jumped out to an early 8-0 advantage, but a 12-2 run by the Vols, during which five different players scored, gave UT it’s first lead with just over 14 minutes remaining in the first half.
The sides closed the final 14 minutes of the opening half trading baskets, with the largest lead for either team being six points. Heading into the locker room Cincinnati held a slim 38-34 lead.
Early in the second halh, the action was much of the same, with the Bearcats holding on to their four-point lead.
Down 46-42 near the mid-point of the second half, a 3-pointer at the top of the arc from Pons, followed by a turnaround jumper from Bowden, gave Tennessee its first lead since the 3:49 mark of the first half.
From there, the squads continued to trade baskets and the lead. Then, with 6:20 remaining, and Cincinnati holding a 58-57 lead, the Bearcats went on a 9-0 run to increase their advantage to 67-57 with just over three minutes to play.
In the final minutes, Cincinnati held off the Vols’ late push to cement the final score.
Up Next: Tennessee returns home Saturday to face Jacksonville State inside Thompson-Boling Arena. Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m. ET, and the contest can be seen on SEC Network+.