Keith Williams scored a game-high 20 points, including a personal 9-0 run in the second half, to lead the University of Cincinnati men's basketball team past Tulane on Feb. 7 inside the Green Wave's Fogelman Arena in Devlin Fieldhouse.
The Bearcats won, 64-61. It was their second victory in a four-game winning streak, and Williams scored the 1,000th point of his career in the win, becoming the 54th player in program history to reach the plateau.
"Keith Williams will score 1,000 points in every league he's in," UC coach John Brannen said after the victory. "Like, you know the YMCA league? When he's like 40-something, he'll score 1,000 points in that league. He's a gifted scorer. But (I'm) extremely proud of him. Storied tradition here at Cincinnati, he's certainly one of those guys."
The senior guard gets his second crack at Tulane this season on Friday at Fifth Third Arena. Williams enters the matchup with 1,062 career points. Williams has the opportunity to pass Brian Williams (1,066) and Eddie Lee (1,068) and move into 45th place on the school's all-time scoring list.
Former UC high-flyer and NBA player James White will be the next former Cincinnati great in Williams' sights. White is in 44th place all time with 1,088 career points.
"Keith is actually the only guy I know on the team. That's my guy," said White, who played for the Bearcats from 2003-06 before being selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the first pick of the second round of the 2006 NBA Draft. "He has all the tools, he can score at all three levels, and he's improved his jump shot every year. ... If your program is doing what it's supposed to do, you're going to have those guys come in that's going to be that good and be able to pass you."
Williams needs 27 points on Friday to pass White.
"I'll have to tell him to slow down a little bit," White said with a laugh.
Tipoff: 4 p.m. on Friday at Fifth Third Arena.
TV/Radio: ESPN+/WLW-AM (700)
Series info: This is the 44th meeting between Tulane and Cincinnati, with the Bearcats owning a 28-15 advantage in the series.
Tulane (9-10, 4-10 AAC)
Coach: Ron Hunter, second season (21-28)
Offense: 63.2 ppg
Defense: 63.8 ppg
Player (Position, Height, Key Stat)
Jordan Walker (G, 5'11", 4.4 apg, fourth in AAC)
Gabe Watson (G, 6’2", 8.3 ppg)
Jaylen Forbes (G, 6'5", 16.1 ppg, fifth in AAC)
Sion James (G, 6’5", 5.4 ppg)
Kevin Cross (F, 6’8", 4.8 rpg)
Cincinnati (8-8, 6-5 AAC)
Coach: John Brannen, second season (28-18)
Offense: 67.9 ppg
Defense: 71.3 ppg
Player (Position, Height, Key Stat)
Mike Saunders Jr. (G, 6’, 81% FT shooting)
Mika Adams-Woods (G, 6'3", 86% FT shooting)
Keith Williams (G, 6’5”, 14.8 ppg, sixth in AAC)
Jeremiah Davenport (G, 6'7", 10.1 ppg)
Chris Vogt (C, 7'1', 1.1 bpg, fifth in AAC)
PLAYERS TO WATCH
The 6-foot-5 sophomore, who played at Alabama last season, is coming off a double-double. Forbes had 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds in a loss Wednesday at Memphis. Forbes led the Green Wave with 15 points against the Bearcats earlier this month.
The senior guard on Wednesday had an offensive outburst, scoring 24 points in a 70-69 win at Tulsa. The effort came three days after his worst shooting performance of the season (six points on 1-for-10 from the field Sunday at Houston). Williams will look to stay hot as he chases history.
KEY TO THE GAME
Cincinnati will play in front of its largest home crowd of the season after the state granted the university an attendance variance to allow 9% capacity, or about 1,135 fans, inside the 12,012-seat arena. The Bearcats played each of their first seven home games in front of about 300 fans.
KenPom.com: Tulane (139); Cincinnati (103)
RPI: Tulane (205); Cincinnati (113)