Sports

David DeJulius (30 points) Leads Bearcats to 97-74 Romp Over SMU, Team Poised For AAC Run

CINCINNATI — From the moment David DeJulius sank his first shot of the day, a straightaway three 18 seconds in, the Bearcats made it clear they would not slip up on Senior Day.

DeJulius finished with a career-high 30 points, including a nasty crossover and step back 15-footer with 5:45 left that thrilled the sellout crowd at Fifth Third Arena as the Bearcats easily disposed of SMU (10-21, 5-13), 97-74, Sunday in the American Athletic regular season finale.

With Tulane holding on at home against Temple, the Bearcats (20-11, 11-7) finish with the No. 4 seed and will play No. 5 Temple Friday at 3 p.m. in the AAC quarterfinals in Fort Worth, Texas.

While the biggest roar of the day was saved for a cameo courtside and videoboard appearance by Bengals star receiver Tee Higgins with 11:52 remaining in the game, the crowd was thoroughly entertained by the Bearcats. UC started the game hitting nine of their first 13 3-point attempts.

They led most of the first half by double digits and played a complete 40-minute game, something they’ll have to repeat three times in Texas if they want to punch a ticket to the big dance in two weeks.

While DeJulius was 11-of-18 from the field, Landers Nolley Jr. also had a huge day, knocking down 5-of-8 from deep and finishing with 24 points.

Mike Petraglia

Joined CLNS Media in 2017. Covered Boston sports as a radio broadcaster, reporter, columnist and TV and video talent since 1993. Covered Boston Red Sox for MLB.com from 2000-2007 and the New England Patriots for ESPN Radio, WBZ-AM, SiriusXM, WEEI, WEEI.com and CLNS since 1993. Featured columnist for the Boston Celtics on CelticsBlog.

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