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After winning Big 12 debut, Cincinnati battles No. 20 Texas

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One team will look to make it two straight wins in Big 12 play while another aims to rebound from a disappointing home loss when Cincinnati hosts No. 20 Texas on Tuesday night.

The visiting Bearcats (12-2, 1-0) rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit to stun No. 12 Brigham Young 71-60 on Saturday night in its Big 12 conference debut.

It was Cincinnati’s highest-ranked win since beating No. 12 Houston in the 2019 American Athletic Conference title game. It also marked the team’s highest-ranked road win since beating No. 11 Wichita State in March 2018.

“I’m really proud of our kids,” Cincinnati coach Wes Miller said. “I thought we turned it over a lot early, and certainly weren’t good offensively then. When you turn it over carelessly, you aren’t gonna have chances to score.

“There were some forced ones, for sure, because (BYU head coach Mark Pope) did a nice job coming out of timeouts and trapping us. We settled down and found some rhythm offensively in the second half. Everything defensively was the catalyst for us. We really strung together stops in the second half.”

Aziz Bandaogo returned from a three-game absence due to a back injury and scored 12 points while hauling in 10 rebounds, his third-straight double-double.

Viktor Lakhin scored 17 points to lead Cincinnati while Jizzle James added 12 for the Bearcats, who will be playing their first home conference game in the Big 12.

Texas (11-3, 0-1) is coming off a 78-67 home loss to Texas Tech on Saturday in its conference opener.

Tyrese Hunter scored a team-high 20 points, but the Longhorns fell for just the second time in 27 games inside Moody Center, with both setbacks coming in the Longhorns’ Big 12 home opener in each of the last two seasons.

“This Big 12 is gonna be a gauntlet every night,” Texas coach Rodney Terry said. “Every night you have to bring your ‘A’ game, whether you’re at home or on the road. But that’s what you want. It’s what you signed up for.

“You can only keep these games with you for one night whether you win or lose, because the next game is going to be another big game for you. These guys came out I thought, you know, again, they gave us a great effort. We just have to continue to stay the course and keep working.”

Texas Tech went on a 9-1 run over a three-minute span of the second half to assume control, taking a 61-52 lead. Texas cut the lead to 66-61 with under five minutes left but could get no closer.

Hunter finished 8 of 16 from the floor, with three assists, two rebounds and one steal in 34 minutes. Dillon Mitchell recorded his sixth double-double of the season, with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and tied his career high with four assists in 34 minutes.

Max Abmas had 18 points, five assists and four rebounds in 37 minutes. Abmas also moved into fifth place in the all-time NCAA Division I career 3-point list with 460, passing J.J. Redick of Duke (457).

–Field Level Media

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