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No. 18 Cincinnati Beats Akron 88-66

November 23, 2003

CINCINNATI (AP) _ Reserve Tony Bobbitt scored 21 points, and No. 18 Cincinnati started its season with an 88-66 victory Saturday night over Akron _ the 38th consecutive win in home openers for the Bearcats.

Nick Williams added 14 points for Cincinnati.

Akron, where Bob Huggins coached before taking over the Bearcats in 1989, sustained its worst loss since falling to Bowling Green by 30 points on Feb. 23, 2002 _ a span of 33 games.

Derrick Tarver, who led the Mid-American Conference in scoring with a 20.6 average last season, rebounded from a six-point first half to finish with 19 for the Zips. Johnny Hollingsworth, second in the MAC with a 17.4 average last season, scored only five points.

The Bearcats took control with a 17-0 run that put them ahead 24-8 with 7:53 left in the first half. The Zips missed nine consecutive shots and committed six turnovers during the run that lasted 6 minutes, 37 seconds. Williams scored seven points during the run, including the last five.

Cincinnati led 44-21 at the half, limiting Akron to 25-percent (6-for-24) shooting. Akron finished at 40.8 percent after shooting 48.7 last season _ the 10th-best figure in the nation.

Dru Joyce, a high school teammate of LeBron James at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, scored 10 points in his college debut for Akron.

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