Clutch 3-pointer lifts Cincinnati past San Francisco in OT

League: NCAA Basketball

Posted on: 21 Mar, 2024 at 06:50 AM

Credit: Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Simas Lukosius sank a go-ahead 3-pointer with four seconds left in overtime to lift second-seeded Cincinnati to a 73-72 win against visiting San Francisco in an NIT first-round game on Wednesday night.

Lukosius went 8 of 10 from 3-point distance and finished with 28 points for the Bearcats, who will host Bradley in the second round on Saturday.

Dan Skillings Jr. had 16 points and eight rebounds and Jizzle James added 11 points off the bench for Cincinnati (21-14), which lost to Baylor in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament on Thursday.

Malik Thomas scored a career-high 31 points for San Francisco (23-11), which rallied from a nine-point deficit with just over two minutes left in regulation to force overtime.

Ndewedo Newbury scored 13 points and Jonathan Mogbo had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Dons.

Thomas made a 3 on the first possession of overtime and then made two free throws to extend the lead to 72-68 lead. James made a pull-up jumper to cut it to 72-70 with 1:47 left and that score remained until the game-winner by Lukosius.

San Francisco trimmed the late nine-point deficit to three on a three-point play by Thomas with 1:18 remaining.

Aziz Bandaogo drew a charge and then grabbed an offensive rebound on the other end with 18 seconds left, but missed the front of the 1-and-1 situation and Thomas sank a 3-pointer from the corner to tie it at 67-67 with nine seconds remaining.

Skillings made a 3-pointer with 2:24 remaining to give the Bearcats their biggest lead of the first half at 36-30 and they eventually took a 38-35 lead into the break.

Mogbo, the leading scorer (14.4) and rebounder (10.2) this season for the Dons, departed after picking up his fourth foul with 14:30 left and San Francisco down by a point.

The Dons went back ahead by three with Mogbo out of the game, but the Bearcats followed with a 12-0 run to take their biggest lead of the game at 57-48 with 7:23 left.

Cincinnati went ahead by nine two more times down the stretch, but it wasn't enough to prevent San Francisco from pushing the game to overtime.

--Field Level Media