Wright, No. 24 Cincinnati top Tennessee-Martin

Wright, No. 24 Cincinnati top Tennessee-Martin
November 11, 2012, 4:30 pm
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Cincinnati center Cheikh Mbodj (13) dunks against Tennessee-Martin guard Justin Childs (22) and forward Myles Taylor (33) during the first half of an NCAA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/David Kohl)

(APWF)

CINCINNATI (AP) Cashmere Wright scored 16 points and Sean Kilpatrick added 14 as No. 24 Cincinnati cruised to an 80-57 season-opening win over Tennessee-Martin on Sunday.

Eleven different players scored for the Bearcats. Justin Jackson had 11 rebounds and Cincinnati blocked 10 shots.

Titus Rubles, a junior-college transfer making his Bearcats debut, came off the bench to score eight points and grab seven rebounds.

The game drew 5,728. A couple of miles south, the Cincinnati Bengals hosted the New York Giants and beat the Super Bowl champions 31-13.

Cincinnati opens the season with four straight home games against unranked opponents, with Mississippi Valley State visiting on Tuesday. Last season, the Bearcats reached their first-ever Big East tournament championship game and made it to the NCAA's round of 16 for the first time since 2001.

Jeremy Washington, who scored 10 points in Tennessee-Martin's season-opening 84-69 loss at Arkansas-Little Rock on Friday, led the Skyhawks (0-2) with 14 points. Myles Taylor and Mike Liabo each 12 points while Justin Childs chipped in with 10 for Tennessee-Martin.

Cincinnati improved to 91-21 in season openers, including 80-10 at home. Cincinnati has won 47 of its last 48 season openers at home, the only loss coming to Belmont 86-75 in the 2007-2008 tip-off.

The win was the 114th for Bearcats' coach Mick Cronin, snapping a tie with Ed Jucker for fifth place on the program's career coaching wins list. Cronin, starting his seventh year at his alma mater, is 114-88. Jucker guided Cincinnati to NCAA championships in 1961 and 1962.

The Bearcats are honoring All-American and longtime NBA star Jack Twyman by wearing a patch on their uniforms with his No. 27. Twyman, who played in the mid-1950s, died in May.

Washington scored the game's first two points, giving Tennessee-Martin its only lead 1:04 into the game before Cincinnati took control with a 14-0 run capped by Ge'lawn Guyn's 3-pointer with 13 minutes left in the first half.

The Bearcats later took advantage of a Skyhawks' 6:36 scoring drought to run off 17 unanswered points, building their largest lead of the half at 33-6.