UC 76, SOUTHERN UTAH 63
Myrick sparks lifeless Cats

Thursday, November 26, 1998

BY MIKE DeCOURCY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[levett]
Melvin Levett positions himself for a rebound.
(AP photo)

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska - He sat through the entire first game and barely twitched. No need for Shawn Myrick to move. No need for Shawn Myrick.

But the Cincinnati Bearcats who opened their season one week earlier lost some of their enthusiasm in the course of the nine-hour trip to the Great Alaska Shootout. It was Myrick who gave it back to them.

Myrick was one of five substitutes coach Bob Huggins sent into Wednesday night's game after suffering through 12 minutes in which UC was stripped of the basketball and some of its dignity by undermanned Southern Utah. Myrick scored 11 first-half points and finished with 16 to key a 76-63 comeback victory by the Bearcats.

UC advanced to a second-round game at 9:15 p.m. (EST) Friday against Iowa State (2-0), a 74-72 overtime winner over St. Mary's.

[mickeal]
Pete Mickeal shoots over two defenders.
(AP photo)

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It wasn't an heroic comeback for No. 15 UC (2-0).

"It's an embarrassment to play like that," UC coach Bob Huggins said. "We just didn't play hard."

UC trailed by two points twice in the first half and was up by double digits most of the way after the break. But to fall behind Southern Utah (2-2) even momentarily was not sufficient for Huggins, not after UC played so intently and aggressively in a 17-point win over Rhode Island in the season opener.

"I'm really totally embarrassed to be affiliated with UC basketball the way we played today," forward Pete Mickeal said. "In my mind, I take this as a loss."

Huggins was upset with Mickeal, who scored 12 but allowed SU's Tyson Hancock 20 points after giving up only eight to Rhode Island star Lamar Odom.

He was upset with shooting guard Melvin Levett, who scored seven and gave way to Myrick. Center Kenyon Martin was held to one shot and six points by Southern Utah's defense.

SCHEDULE
WEDNESDAY GAMES
• UC 73, So. Utah 63
• Iowa St. 74, St. Mary's 72 (OT)
TODAY'S GAMES
• Fresno St. at Alaska Anchorage, 9:15 p.m.
• Duke vs. Notre Dame, midnight
FRIDAY SEMIFINALS
• UC vs. Iowa St., 9:15 p.m.
• Fresno St.-Alaska Anchorage winner vs. Duke-Notre Dame winner, midnight
SATURDAY'S GAMES
• Seventh Place, 4 p.m.
• Fifth Place, 6 p.m.
• Third Place, 9 p.m.
• Championship, Midnight
Shootout Web site
Huggins was so infuriated by the regular Bearcats' effort he substituted for all five players at the 8-minute mark of the first half, reaching all the way to the end of the bench for walk-on Alex Meacham.

"We were not playing good enough to be out there," Mickeal said. It was a disastrous decision.

For Southern Utah.

Led by Myrick's six points, the UC reserves went on a 13-2 tear over the next five minutes and opened a 29-18 lead. They executed the press more effectively than the starters, forcing a 10-second count on one trip and four turnovers in seven possessions.

"Everybody knows his job. When we come in the game, that's what we do - play hard no matter what group is in," Myrick said. "I knew I could do this.

"I knew I could do this. As you know, I've got a mouth. The coaches told me if I keep my mouth shut I'd get my opportunity."

The Bearcats extended a 38-26 halftime lead to 16 points early in the second half thanks to six quick points by freshman forward Eugene Land - he finished with 11.

Once the starters were sentenced to the bench, it looked as though none would get back before the half, but center Donald Little left his feet before it was prudent on three consecutive Thunderbirds possessions. That led to four points for Southern Utah, and to Huggins sending Martin back for Little. He ordered Mickeal to return, as well, in place of Meacham.

Martin intercepted a pass near the Southern Utah foul line soon after returning and dribbled into the open court for what looked to be an easy slam, but 6-0 Thunderbirds guard Justin Kaliszewski slammed him into the basket support before Martin could finish the shot.

Martin got up holding his right wrist and eventually missed the two free throws he was awarded.

Notebook: Huggins nears 400th win
Next for UC: Iowa State
Shootout Web site
Basketball story list


CINCINNATI (76)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Fletcher        10   2-4   2-2   1-2  1  0    6
Mickeal         26   3-6   6-8   3-8  2  1   12
Martin          27   1-1   3-6   0-5  3  3    5
Levett          22   2-6   0-2   0-0  1  3    5
Logan           22   4-9   0-0   0-2  1  2    9
Myrick          25   5-7   4-4   0-2  2  1   16
Mitchell        18   2-5   0-1   0-2  2  2    5
Land            20   4-8   3-6   3-4  1  3   11
Meacham          6   1-2   0-0   0-0  0  1    3
Mcghee          18   0-0   2-4   1-5  0  0    2
Little           6   1-2   0-0   2-2  1  1    2
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 25-50 20-33 10-32 14 17   76
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.500, FT-.606. 3-Point Goals:
6-14, .429 (Levett 1-3, Logan 1-5, Myrick 2-2,
Mitchell 1-2, Meacham 1-2). Team rebounds: 2.
Blocked shots: 3 (Martin 2, Fletcher). Turnovers:
17 (Mitchell 4, Mickeal 3, Land 2, Martin 2,
Mcghee 2, Fletcher, Levett, Logan, Myrick).
Steals: 6 (Martin 2, Levett, Mickeal, Mitchell,
Myrick).


SOUTHERN UTAH (63)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Hancock         33  8-13   0-1   1-4  1  2   20
Faulkner        18   0-2   0-0   1-2  1  5    0
Clyde           36   5-9   6-6   2-9  0  3   16
Felton          27   2-6   1-1   1-3  5  4    5
Monaco          29   3-9   2-2   0-1  4  0   10
Kaliszewski     18   2-4   2-2   0-0  2  1    8
Harton           8   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  0    0
Johnson          4   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  2    0
Pugmire         20   1-4   2-2   0-0  0  4    4
Fitzgerald       7   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  2    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 21-47 13-14  5-21 13 23   63
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.447, FT-.929. 3-Point Goals:
8-19, .421 (Hancock 4-8, Felton 0-3, Monaco 2-6,
Kaliszewski 2-2). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked
shots: 1 (Felton). Turnovers: 23 (Felton 6,
Monaco 5, Faulkner 4, Hancock 4, Fitzgerald,
Johnson, Kaliszewski, Pugmire). Steals: 11
(Faulkner 2, Hancock 2, Monaco 2, Pugmire 2,
Felton, Harton, Kaliszewski).
__________________________________
Cincinnati         38   38  -   76
Southern Utah      26   37  -   63
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None. Officials: Jim Danner,
Lonnie Dixon, Gabby Lujan.