Caupain, Gary Clark and Octavius Ellis got Cincinnati going early, jumping out to a 12-4 lead to start the game before the Tigers stormed back, eventually taking a 22-20 lead at the midway point in the first half. Cincinnati responded with another run of their own, going on an 11-2 run behind Kevin Johnson, Caupain and Shaq Thomas. However, the seven-point lead was quickly closed as Avery Woodson knocked down a three-pointer while drawing a foul on Thomas, setting up a four-point play. As they approached the break, the Bearcats were unable to pull away with Woodson's shooting touch keeping it close. Cincinnati entered halftime leading 41-38.
For the Bearcats, the first half belonged to Caupain, who led Cincinnati with 15 points on 7-of-9 from the field. Caupain only attempted (and made) one three in the first half as the junior guard aggressively attacked the rim from the onset of the game. Thomas had eight points at the break, setting the stage for arguably the best game of his career, as he would finish the game with 18 points and a team-high six rebounds.
Both teams were sloppy to start the second half with turnovers and poor offensive possessions before the offenses began to click again. Farad Cobb's first bucket of the game on an open three-pointer gave the Bearcats yet another seven-point advantage with 15:26 remaining. The Bearcats couldn't close the door though, as Burrell and the Tigers continued to hang around.
Cincinnati would pull ahead 60-51 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game. Burrell responded for Memphis, hitting a three-pointer on the next possession. The Tigers would go on a run of their own, eventually taking a 63-60 lead themselves. Having struggled this season in close games, Cincinnati fans had to feel a little uncomfortable.
In previous close contests this season, the Bearcats were unable to generate offense in pressure moments. This time, Cincinnati leaned on Caupain, who scored eight points in the final six minutes of the game, including six free throws. The Cincinnati defense buckled down in the closing minutes and the Bearcats defended their home floor with a 76-72 win.
Cincinnati won despite going 4-of-15 (26.7%) from beyond the arc, in large part because they went 30-of-60 (50%) from the field, opting to attack the basket instead of heave up three-pointers. Still, the Bearcats struggled defensively against the three ball themselves, allowing Memphis to knock down 10-of-22 (45.5%) from three. Memphis was 25-of-57 (43.9%) from the field.