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Cincinnati starts sloppy, recovers to upset No. 12 BYU

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Viktor Lakhin had 17 points and seven rebounds as Cincinnati upset No. 12 BYU 71-60 on Saturday night in Provo, Utah, in the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams.

Aziz Bandaogo supplied 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Bearcats (12-2), who outscored the Cougars 47-29 in the second half.

Jizzle James also had 12 points, while Dan Skillings Jr. added 10.

Both teams are newcomers to the conference.

Trevin Knell made nine 3-pointers while scoring 27 points for BYU (12-2). Dallin Hall added 10 points, but the Cougars shot just 32.8 percent from the field.

The Bearcats got off to a brutal start, making just one of their first 11 field-goal attempts while turning the ball over eight times. They were fortunate to come out of that stretch trailing by only eight points, as only Knell — who knocked down three early 3-pointers — was able to find an offensive groove.

The Cougars also had trouble hanging onto the ball, which allowed the Bearcats to erase the deficit. James’ jumper with 5:17 left in the half put Cincinnati on top 19-18.

BYU scored the next 11 points with the aid of three more Cincinnati turnovers. The Bearcats scored the next five points before Spencer Johnson made a layup with 16 seconds left to give the Cougars a 31-24 halftime advantage. The teams combined for 25 first-half turnovers.

Knell made a 3-pointer 17 seconds into the second half to give the Cougars a double-digit lead at 34-24.

The Bearcats gradually chipped away and cut BYU’s lead to one with 14:12 remaining before Knell fired in another 3-pointer for a 46-42 lead.

Knell soon made another trey, but the Cougars couldn’t pull away. Cincinnati retook the lead at 52-51 on a James jumper with 10:54 to go.

James also made a 3-pointer and converted an and-one as part of a 10-0 spurt that gave the Bearcats a six-point advantage.

Cincinnati took a 61-53 lead on a putback by John Newman III with 5:19 remaining. Bandaogo’s dunk with 3:25 left nudged the lead to double digits, and the Bearcats cruised from there.

–Field Level Media

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