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Sports >  NCAA basketball

Cumberland leads Cincinnati over pesky Georgia State 68-53

Cincinnati guard Jarron Cumberland (34) and forward Gary Clark celebrate in the second half of a first-round game against Georgia State in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Nashville, Tenn., Friday, March 16, 2018. Cincinnati won 68-53. (Mark Humphrey / AP)
Cincinnati guard Jarron Cumberland (34) and forward Gary Clark celebrate in the second half of a first-round game against Georgia State in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Nashville, Tenn., Friday, March 16, 2018. Cincinnati won 68-53. (Mark Humphrey / AP)
By Steve Megargee Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jarron Cumberland had 27 points and 11 rebounds to set career highs in both categories Friday as Cincinnati recovered after blowing a 10-point lead in the second half to beat pesky Georgia State 68-53 in the NCAA Tournament.

Cincinnati, the No. 2 seed in the South Region, won its eighth game in a row and advanced to a Sunday matchup against either seventh-seeded Nevada or 10th seed Texas.

After trailing 42-32 early in the second half, Georgia State (24-11) rallied to take a pair of one-point leads, its last one coming on a driving bank shot from D’Marcus Simonds with 9:30 left.

Cincinnati (31-4) answered by reeling off 10 straight points.

Gary Clark, the American Athletic Conference player of the year, put Cincinnati back in front by sinking a 3-pointer with 9:02 left. Kyle Washington added two straights baskets before Jacob Evans III provided the exclamation point by sinking a baseline 3-pointer that gave the Bearcats a 56-47 edge with 6:19 remaining.

Cincinnati’s lead didn’t drop below seven the rest of the way.

Washington scored 13 points for Cincinnati, while Clark had 11 points and 13 rebounds Simonds scored 24 for Georgia State.

Georgia State was trying to repeat its 2015 NCAA run, when it produced a first-round upset of Baylor as a No. 14 seed.

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