CINCINNATI -- Rashad Bishop scored a season-high 17 points, all in the first half, and Cincinnati stayed unbeaten Saturday night with a 92-72 victory over Utah Valley.
The Bearcats (8-0) are off to their best start since 2004-05, Bob Huggins' last year as head coach. They won their first 11 games and reached the NCAA tournament that season and haven't been back since.Cincinnati opened with a 17-2 run and was never seriously threatened. Bishop made all seven of his shots in the first half, three of them from behind the arc. He played only six minutes in the second half, when Cincinnati pulled away, and didn't take another shot.Utah Valley (4-5) packed in its defense and gave up a lot of uncontested shots from the perimeter. Cincinnati went 14 of 28 behind the arc, making as many 3-pointers as free throws (14 of 25). Cashmere Wright and Dion Dixon added 15 points apiece.Ben Aird led Utah Valley with 14 points and nine rebounds.For the second straight game, Cincinnati opened with a crushing run. The Bearcats were coming off an 81-47 win at Toledo -- their first road game of the season -- which started with a 32-5 run. Cincinnati made 11 of its first 13 shots in that one.Same thing on Saturday. The Bearcats made 7 of 9 while pulling ahead 17-2. They didn't have to work very hard to find an open shot, getting plenty from the perimeter against the Wolverines' packed-in defense. Gates, a 6-foot-9, 265-pound forward, found himself wide open on the left wing, took a 3-pointer and made it -- only his second in 11 career tries.The only thing Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin wouldn't like about it was his team's sometimes passive defense. Utah Valley stayed in the game by shooting 60 percent from the field in the first 14 minutes, preventing Cincinnati from getting ahead by more than 18.Geddes Robinson's layup completed a 9-2 spurt that cut it to 44-34 late in the half, getting the Bearcats' attention. Bishop had a pair of 3s in a 12-4 spurt that ended the half and put Cincinnati ahead 56-38.The Wolverines never got closer than 15 points in the second half.