Bearcats facing Cowboys in basketball finals

A pair of undefeated teams found themselves pitted against each other in the finals of the Cayman Islands Classic.

The No. 12 Cincinnati Bearcats came into the Wednesday final with a 5-0 record and were matched against the Wyoming Cowboys (4-0), who won the postseason College Basketball Invitational tournament last season.

Cincinnati, the only team in the tournament ranked in the Associated Press top 25, had an easy course to the finals. The Bearcats raced to a 13-point halftime lead in their tournament opener against Buffalo and held on for a 73-67 victory. Cincinnati provided more of the same Tuesday, when it took a 26-point halftime lead against Richmond and cruised to a 75-48 win.

Wyoming’s games have been a little closer, but both games have seen the Cowboys come out on top. First, Wyoming beat the South Dakota State Jackrabbits – a team that has made the postseason National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament in two straight seasons – by a 77-65 score. On Tuesday, Wyoming advanced to take out the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns by a 70-61 margin.

Senior forward Gary Clark had a breakout game against Buffalo for Cincinnati, when he logged 24 points and 14 rebounds. Clark only played 20 minutes in Tuesday’s game against Richmond and notched eight points with eight rebounds and seven assists.

Wyoming forward Hayden Dalton scored 18 points and notched five rebounds and five assists in his team’s opening round victory over the Jackrabbits, but he was held to just two points on Tuesday. Alexander Aka Gorski scored 16 points in Tuesday’s victory.

The Cincinnati Bearcats face off against the Richmond Spiders in Tuesday night’s game, winning 75-48. – Photos: Courtesy of Cayman Islands Classic

The finals Wednesday night were played after press time, so full game details will be published in Friday’s Compass.