Cincinnati, OH – Cashmere Wright netted 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting on Sunday as No. 24 Cincinnati opened its season with an 80-57 whipping of Tennessee-Martin at Fifth Third Arena.
Sean Kilpatrick contributed 14 points for the Bearcats (1-0), who finished last season with a 26-11 record before losing in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament.
Justin Jackson finished with seven points and 11 rebounds, while David Nyarsuk added nine points and six boards in the victory.
"We were trying to work on our half-court defense especially our pick and roll defense. We have to get better at it," Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said. "We had four or five guys that played really well. It is early in the year. I was happy with our 19 assists and colossally disappointed with our 19 turnovers. Our rebounding is better that it has been, so that was a positive. I knew that would happen once Jackson got some minutes because he rebounds."
Jeremy Washington led Tennessee-Martin (0-2) with 15 points, including 7-for-7 from the free throw line, and Myles Taylor contributed 12 points and six rebounds in the setback.
Mike Liabo donated 12 points and five rebounds for Skyhawks, who opened their season with a loss to Arkansas-Little Rock on Friday.
Cincinnati raced out to a 14-2 advantage in the opening minutes of the game and never looked back
Kilpatrick paced the Bearcats with 10 points in the opening half, while the Cincinnati defense held UT-Martin to just 7-of-35 shooting en route to a commanding 43-17 halftime advantage.
Tennessee-Martin picked it up in the second half and outscored Cincinnati, 40-37, over the final 20 minutes.
The deficit was too large for the Skyhawks to overcome as Cincinnati maxed out its lead at 36 in the second half en route to the easy win.
Cincinnati has won all three meetings between the teams, including a 67-49 win on Nov. 11, 2006 ... Cincinnati shot 47.5 percent from the field and 9-of-21 from 3-point range, while the Skyhawks shot just 28.4 percent on the day.