CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Field Williams and Tony Bobbitt each hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first half as seventh-ranked Cincinnati used an early long-range attack to defeat East Carolina, 80-57, in a Conference USA matchup.
Williams made two 3-pointers in the opening 2:16 as Cincinnati built an early seven-point lead. Bobbitt, the Bearcats' sixth man, added two in a row during a 17-2 run that made it 32-13 with 5:31 left in the half.
Williams and Bobbitt finished with just six points apiece, combining to go 4-of-15 from 3-point range. Williams began the night fifth in the nation at 48 percent from behind the arc. Bobbitt had averaged 16.3 points over the previous six games.
Cincinnati led by at least 10 points over the last 28:43 and by as many as 30 on a jumper by Jason Maxiell that made it 72-42 with 7:02 left.
"Cincinnati is a very much improved team over last year," East Carolina coach Bill Herrion said. "They are much more explosive than they were last year and have better shooters and more weapons."
James White scored 15 points and Maxiell added 14 for the Bearcats (15-1, 6-1 C-USA), who have won two straight games by a combined 59 points since a 93-66 loss in Louisville.
"We don't want to take steps backwards," Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins said.
Cincinnati has won six straight meetings with East Carolina (8-8, 0-6).
"We are just very undermanned, but I was proud of our effort," Herrion said. "I thought we played hard and did some good things. Our kids competed."
Derrick Wiley scored 18 points and Mike Cook added 14 for the Pirates, who have lost 15 straight road games dating to last season. They have never won a conference road game since joining the league three years ago.
The Bearcats went 7-of-16 from beyond the arc in building a 43-25 halftime cushion. They finished the game at 9-of-25.
Cincinnati poured it on in the second half, using a 17-6 spurt - with seven points coming from Maxiell - to build a 72-42 bulge. But Huggins, who is always difficult to impress, still wasn't happy.
"We have to be tougher with the ball," he said. "We sometimes have guys that are burdened with talent and just get too loose with the ball."