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Cincinnati 77, Holy Cross 55

CINCINNATI (AP) -- James White scored 19 points and provided
stability to Cincinnati's hot-and-cold offense Friday night,
helping the Bearcats pull away in the second half to a 77-55
victory over Holy Cross.

White, a senior forward, has been the only consistent scorer
since Cincinnati (3-0) went to a more uptempo approach under
interim coach Andy Kennedy. White has led the Bearcats in scoring
in two of their three games.

Cincinnati shot only 37.5 percent from the field in the first
half against the Crusaders' matchup zone defense and led by three
at the intermission. The Bearcats got their fastbreak rolling in
the second half.

Harried Holy Cross (2-2) repeatedly missed open shots close to
the basket, shot 30.2 percent from the field and had 19 turnovers
against Cincinnati's tight man-to-man defense.

Kevin Hamilton, the Patriot League's two-time player of the
year, played with a bruised hip and led Holy Cross with 13 points
on 4-of-18 shooting. He became the 41st Crusader to top 1,000
career points.

Holy Cross trailed only 29-26 after a sloppy first half full of
bad shooting and poor ball handling. Six-foot-10 center Tim
Clifford picked up his third and fourth fouls within a 34-second
span early in the second half, and the Crusaders faded fast.

Cincinnati power forward Eric Hicks made a three-point play --
Clifford had the foul -- and added a bank shot that helped the
Bearcats take control, 45-29. Holy Cross never got closer than 14
points the rest of the way.

Armein Kirkland, a senior forward counted upon to help carry
Cincinnati's offense, had a third straight subpar game that drew
catcalls from the home crowd. Kirkland is 7-for-29 with eight
rebounds and eight turnovers in three games.

Cincinnati held a slim lead throughout a ragged first half.
Neither team could hit an open shot consistently or do anything
worthwhile for more than a couple minutes at a time -- a pace that
played to Holy Cross' favor and upset the crowd of 8,902 -- more
than 4,000 below capacity.

While Hamilton was shooting a free throw with 2:14 left, a
frustrated Bearcats fan implored, "C'mon, you're playing Holy
Cross!"

Junior forward Ronald Allen had his best game for the Bearcats,
scoring 11 points. Allen transferred from Xavier of New Orleans
after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the school's campus. Allen got
permission from the NCAA to play this season.