Bearcats Lose To No. 17 Xavier, 64-59

CINCINNATI (AP) - The University of Cincinnati men's basketball team battled with No. 17 Xavier all night in the 75th meeting of the Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout but came up short, 64-59, despite the efforts of seniors Jamual Warren, Adam Hrycaniuk, and John Williamson.

Hrycaniuk and Williamson scored nine points and pulled down nine boards, while Warren knocked down 10 points, equaled his career high of seven assists and made four steals.

A no-holds-barred tone was set in a first half that featured seven lead changes and two personal fouls -- vintage rivalry. Neither team led by more than five points in the first half. UC's John Williamson scored six of his nine points in the first half and helped the Bearcats to a 26-16 rebounding margin at the break with six boards.

Both teams lost starters to injury in the rough-and-tumble second half. Cincinnati forward Marvin Gentry was taken off the court on a neck board as a precaution after he ran into teammate Deonta Vaughn's knee while going for a loose ball.

Xavier's Josh Duncan had to be helped off the court after he was bumped from behind and landed hard during a tussle for a rebound. Duncan received ice on his forehead and didn't put much weight on his left leg.

The rivalry brought out the best in the Bearcats, who played with more passion than it had all season. The Bearcats even showed some swagger for the first time.

The tone was set when 225-pound forward John Williamson set a screen on Xavier's Drew Lavender, his burly forearm catching the 5-foot-7 point guard in the face. Later in the first half, a double technical foul was called when Xavier's Stanley Burrell and Cincinnati's Jamual Warren exchanged words after a pileup.

There were more words as the teams walked past each other at halftime, which ended with Xavier up 29-25. Duncan made Xavier's first three baskets of the second half, all on power moves, as the Musketeers went inside and pulled ahead 35-29, their biggest lead to that point. After he left, Cincinnati rallied.

Larry Davis and Rashad Bishop hit 3-pointers in an 8-0 run that gave the Bearcats a 48-43 lead with 6:47 to go, matching their biggest lead of the game. That's when Brown took over and scored 11 points in the final seven minutes.

UC held the Musketeers to 38.6 percent shooting and 64 points (XU's second lowest point total of the year) in the game, its best defensive effort of the season.

Cincinnati gets the week off before hosting No. 2 Memphis on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at Fifth Third Arena.