VALPARAISO, Indiana (Ticker) -- Jason Maxiell helped make up for the loss of Robert Whaley and sent Cincinnati into a prolonged break on a high note.
Maxiell collected 20 points and 11 rebounds as the 19th-ranked Bearcats coasted to their fourth straight victory, 68-49 over Valparaiso.
Before the game, Cincinnati learned that Whaley, its starting center, will undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and will be out at least two weeks. That could have been a long stretch for Bob Huggins' team, which does not play again until December 17, but Maxiell had his way down low with the undersized Crusaders.
Maxiell was just 4-of-7 from the field but made 12-of-20 free throws, part of a 20-of-31 effort from the line for the Bearcats (4-0).
Tony Bobbitt hit five 3-pointers and contributed 15 points off the bench for Cincinnati, which got 14 and a career-best nine rebounds from Field Williams.
Joaquim Gomes scored 10 points but was the only player in double figures for Valparaiso (1-3), which trailed for the final 36 minutes in its first game in a week.
Trailing, 5-4, the Bearcats took control with a 9-0 run. Williams started it with a basket and Bobbitt's 3-pointer with 14:37 to go before halftime gave Cincinnati an 11-5 lead.
Reserve Seth Colclasure got Valparaiso within 12-9, but the Bearcats scored the next 10 points and took a 37-24 lead to the locker room. The Crusaders got the deficit into single digits just once more thereafter.
Cincinnati shot 39 percent (20-of-51) in its first road game, but got a career-high 10 rebounds from Kareem Johnson and enjoyed a 42-26 advantage on the boards. That helped overcome 19 turnovers.
Valparaiso shot 36 percent (17-of-47), making just 3-of-17 3-pointers. Ali Berdiel and Ron Howard chipped in nine points apiece for the Crusaders, who had 20 turnovers.