Cincinnati point guard Cashmere Wright smoothly dodged the Missouri press in the Bearcats' NCAA tournament victory Thursday in Washington, D.C. Photo by Mike Frandsen.

The 6th-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats used a stifling defense and a strong front line to easily handle the 11th-seeded Missouri Tigers 78-63 in a West regional game Thursday night at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Yancy Gates led the Bearcats with 18 points and 11 rebounds and Dion Dixon scored 16 for Cincinnati.  Point guard Cashmere Wright added 11 points and seven assists for the Bearcats.  Ricardo Ratliffe led Missouri with 13.

After the Tigers jumped out to a 9-2 lead, Cincinnati (26-8) took its first lead at 20-19 midway through the first half and never looked back. Cincinnati led 39-28 at halftime.

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