CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Cincinnati made sure it did not suffer a second straight home loss to Saint Louis.
James White recorded his first double-double with a career-high 23 points and 12 rebounds as the 12th-ranked Bearcats stayed in contention for the Conference USA regular-season title with a 77-52 rout of the Billikens.
"I just changed my game plan to take better shots," said White, who also handed out seven assists. "I wanted to take shots from mid-range - the ones I'm comfortable with. I've decided to do what I'm good at."
Last season, the Bearcats (19-5, 10-3 C-USA) suffered a 58-55 home defeat to Saint Louis, which won in Cincinnati for the first time since the 1981-82 campaign.
This time, the outcome never was in doubt as the Bearcats build a 37-24 halftime lead and steadily pulled away in the second half.
"James played really well," Bearcats coach Bob Huggins said. "We moved him to point guard and he distributed the ball well. This was without question his best effort here."
Cincinnati pulled within one game of first-place Memphis, which hosts the Bearcats in the regular season finale March 6. The Bearcats are tied with Charlotte, their opponent on Saturday.
Izik Ohanon paced Saint Louis (14-10, 7-6) with just 12 points.
After opening a 50-30 lead on Field Williams' 3-pointer with 14:32 remaining, the Bearcats allowed the Billikens to close within 57-46 on Ohanon's two free throws with 8:40 remaining.
But Cincinnati responded with a 14-2 spurt, opening a 71-48 cushion on Williams' jumper with 3:32 to play. White scored seven points during the run.
"I thought we defended well early in the second half and that carried over," said Williams, who chipped in with 20 points. "We played good defense and made some shots. Whenever you stop your opponent, it gives you confidence to go down and make shots."
Cincinnati dominated on the boards, outrebounding Saint Louis, 44-22. Center Kareem Johnson paced the Bearcats on the glass with 12 rebounds.
"I don't often question my guys' effort," Saint Louis coach Brad Soderberg said. "But I will today. We just got outhustled."