HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (AP) Cane Broome scored 17 points during his debut as Cincinnati’s point guard, and the 12th-ranked Bearcats pulled away to a 107-77 victory over Savannah State on Friday.
The Bearcats (1-0) showed the offensive depth that brought them their highest AP preseason ranking since 1999-2000. Gary Clark – one of three returning starters – had 13 points and 11 rebounds in their first game at a temporary home arena.
Broome sat out last season after transferring from Sacred Heart. He started the game and had four assists and six turnovers in Cincinnati’s highest-scoring opener since a 108-73 victory over Austin Peay in 1994.
Austin Dasent scored 14 for Savannah State (0-1), which led the nation in 3-pointers last season but couldn’t make enough down the stretch to pull off the upset. The Tigers trailed 69-62 with 12 minutes to go, but missed 14 of their final 17 shots from beyond the arc.
The Bearcats drew 6,610 fans to BB&T Arena on Northern Kentucky University’s campus, a half-hour drive from their on-campus arena that’s under renovation for the season. Cincinnati has won its last 27 home games overall after going 18-0 at Fifth Third Arena last season.
Savannah State: The Tigers led the nation in 3-pointers last season, making 13.5 per game. They were 13 of 44 overall beyond the arc.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats showed their depth and balance on offense, but had issues on defense. They allowed 40 points in a wide-open first half, with both teams finding open shots. Overall, Cincinnati dominated the boards 65-32.
Savannah State hosts East Tennessee State on Monday night.
Cincinnati hosts Western Carolina on Monday night, the second of three straight home games before the Cayman Islands Classic.
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