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Cincinnati tries to put rivalry losses aside, takes on Merrimack

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Cincinnati will aim to rebound from its most disappointing game of the season when Merrimack visits Tuesday night in the first meeting between the two programs.

After winning their first seven games, the Bearcats (8-2) have dropped two of their last three, including Saturday’s 82-68 decision to Dayton. The game was played on a neutral court, but the game took place just four miles from the Bearcats’ campus in downtown Cincinnati.

Cincinnati’s only two losses have come at the hands of local rivals, Dayton and Xavier seven days earlier.

“These games get you ready for league play,” Cincinnati head coach Wes Miller said. “The fact that people get all charged up for them, that’s good. I hate that we lost two of them this week. That stinks and it feels terrible. But I’m not afraid of that. We’re not going to not want to play good teams locally because we’re worried about what the hell people think.”

The Bearcats were outscored 28-8 at the foul line, with the Flyers missing just two free-throw attempts while Cincinnati was just 8-for-16.

The Bearcats couldn’t take advantage of the debut of Jamille Reynolds, their second player to be reinstated to the roster midseason.

Reynolds was added to the active roster following an NCAA ruling, playing eight minutes and scoring his first points on an offensive rebound and dunk. He also went 2-for-2 at the foul line to finish with four points.

Cincinnati’s other reinstated player, Aziz Bandaogo, is averaging 13 rebounds over his last three games, becoming the first Bearcat since Tre Scott to record double-digit rebounds in three straight games. Bandaogo also collected his second-straight double-double after recording 17 double-doubles with Utah Valley last season.

After a 10-day break, Merrimack (5-6) returns to action after narrowly defeating Division II Felician 89-85 at home on Dec. 9.

The Warriors were led by Adam “Budd” Clark with 15 points. Jordan Derkack added 13 points, nine assists and seven rebounds while Samba Diallo and Devon Savage finished with 12 points apiece.

Merrimack shot a season-best 61.8 percent from the field in the win over Felician. Jaylen Stinson filled the stat sheet with seven points, five rebounds and six assists.

The Warriors scored 17 points off 14 turnovers to hold on for their second win in six games.

–Field Level Media

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