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Ellis leads Cincinnati past St. Francis (Pa) 52-37

CINCINNATI (AP) Octavius Ellis scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds to help Cincinnati beat St. Francis (Pa) 52-37 in the season opener for both teams on Friday night.

Ellis added three steals and two blocks as the Cincinnati defense smothered St. Francis, forcing 21 turnovers and holding the Red Flash to 30 percent shooting from the field (12-of-40) and 25 percent (4-of-16) from 3-point range.

Ronnie Drinnon’s jumper with 13:35 left in the first half pulled St. Francis within 3 before Cincinnati used an 18-7 run, including seven points by Quadri Moore, to open up a 27-13 lead with 5 minutes left.

Drinnon opened the second half with a jumper, but an 8-0 Cincinnati spurt pushed the lead to 37-19 with 14 minutes to play and St. Francis never again got closer than nine.

Gary Clark added 10 points, six rebounds and four steals in the win.

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