Monday, December 28, 1998

UC 53, DAYTON 51


Martin saves Bearcats

BY MIKE DeCOURCY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[martin]
Kenton Martin shoots over Dayton's Coby Turner. He had 18 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks.
(AP photo)

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        CLEVELAND — What can you do in four seconds? What can any of us do? Drive 1/10th of a mile on 1-275? Have another bite of a bacon cheeseburger? Listen to the first eight notes of Beethoven's Fifth?

        Here is what Cincinnati Bearcats center Kenyon Martin can do, and did: alter a potentially game-tying shot by Dayton star Tony Stanley, take a swipe at a game clinching rebound, deflect it off UC guard Melvin Levett's leg directly to Stanley, recover to swat Stanley's rushed follow toward midcourt, win a game, save his teammates.

        “We were as soft with the basketball as we've been, as lethargic,” said coach Bob Huggins after the Bearcats escaped with their third win by a single basket, 53-51 Sunday over Dayton in the Rock 'n Roll Shootout at Gund Arena. “Thank God we guarded, and thank God No.4 is back there making huge plays.”

        He was about the only one. Martin finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. The rest of the fourth-ranked Bearcats (11-0) struggled almost as much to explain their lack of intensity in this game as they did to summon the requisite energy to win it.

[levett]
Melvin Levett leans over Tony Stanley.
(AP photo)

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        Martin's personal rescue         came after forward Pete Mickeal made one free throw with 13 seconds left to double UC's narrow lead. During a timeout, Huggins instructed the Bearcats to switch defensive assignments to deny any attempt at a game-winning three-pointer.

        Stanley accepted a handoff on the right wing from point guard Edwin Young, leaving UC senior Michael Horton guarding the ball. Stanley made a move to get by and leaped to attempt an 8-footer with four seconds on the clock.

        “The basket was wide open,” Stanley said. “Kenyon Martin came out of nowhere.”

        Stanley shot over Martin's hand and, thus, over the square. He was fortunate to wind up with another chance, but not so fortunate Martin kept himself in the play.

        “I was going to try to pump-fake, but there wasn't time,” Stanley said. “I had to put it up, and there he goes again with those long arms.”

[logan]
Steve Logan and UD's David Morris eye a loose ball.
(AP photo)

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        UC missed 10 layups in the first half and needed a serious rally to shoot .339 from the field, still the least efficient effort this year. The deep bench provided a season-low 11 points.

        The Bearcats trailed the Flyers (4-5) more than 13 minutes of the second half, and by as much as five, before Mickeal scored nine of his 13 points in the last 7:33 to provide the offense necessary for the victory.

        “I can't tell you what it is,” Mickeal said. “Sometimes I get it in my head I'm going to take over the game, and that's what I do. Up until then, I didn't have the intensity that I usually do, and it showed on the court.”

        There was a sluggishness about the Bearcats apparent almost immediately, even before Martin dunked to give them a 4-0 lead that turned out to be their largest of the game.

        Off the opening tip, Mickeal wound up with an uncontested layup he managed to roll off the side of the rim. He played another eight minutes in the first half and shot four more times, but made none.

[horton]
Michael Horton is harried by Morris.
(AP photo)

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        “They never quit,” said senior guard Melvin Levett, who finished 1-of-10 and scored two points. “We knew they were tough. It was a matter of us going and executing our gameplan and putting them away, and we didn't do that.”

        Huggins substituted frequently in the first half, searching for players who wouldn't make the same mistakes. It worked only to the extent the reserves made different ones.

        He was less active in the second half, declining to yank Mickeal after he was beaten on a back-door cut by Dayton's Andy Metzler, who stands 6-3, plays 16 minutes a game and averages 5.2 points. All of which might explain why Metzler missed the layup and why he could not keep up with Mickeal when the Bearcats junior slashed for a dunk that cut the UC deficit to 44-42.

        It was his first basket, and at last convinced Mickeal he was physically superior to the players attempting to defend him. He had two of UC's next three scores, all in attacking fashion. With a driving jumper by Alvin Mitchell thrown in, UC had an 8-2 run and a 48-46 lead with 5:30 to play.

        A huge turnaround baseline jumper by Martin over Dayton center Mark Ashman with 1:32 left gave the Bearcats the lead for good. Protecting it required not only Martin's defensive save, but also a spectacular block by Levett — after he was badly beaten on a quick cut by Stanley — with 15 seconds left.

        “We'll just take this win how we get it,” Mickeal said when it was over.

        “We still went out there and won it, and that's really all that matters. Until we get to practice tomorrow.”

UC NOTEBOOK


CINCINNATI (53)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Fletcher        32   1-5   3-3   7-9  1  3    5
Mickeal         28   3-9   7-8   1-5  1  2   13
Martin          36  9-20   0-0  4-13  1  3   18
Levett          34  1-10   0-0   1-4  3  1    2
Horton          22   2-6   0-0   0-2  3  0    4
Myrick           1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Tate             9   1-3   0-0   2-4  0  2    2
Mitchell        18   2-5   0-1   0-1  1  3    5
Logan           13   2-4   0-1   0-1  1  3    4
Land             1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Mcghee           6   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 21-62 10-13 15-40 11 17   53
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.339, FT-.769. 3-Point Goals:
1-8, .125 (Levett 0-4, Mitchell 1-3, Logan 0-1).
Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 6 (Martin 3,
Levett 2, Land). Turnovers: 15 (Fletcher 6,
Horton 3, Tate 2, Levett, Martin, Mcghee,
Mitchell). Steals: 7 (Horton 2, Fletcher, Levett,
Logan, Mickeal, Tate).


DAYTON (51)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Doliboa         23   1-5   0-1   2-7  0  1    2
Turner          23   1-6   0-0   0-3  2  1    3
M Ashman        24   3-6   4-4   1-2  0  3   10
Stanley         35  6-13   0-1   3-5  1  3   16
Young           28   3-5   6-6   0-3  4  2   13
Green            2   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Morris          12   1-4   0-0   0-3  1  2    2
Metzler         19   0-3   2-2   2-2  1  2    2
Holland         18   0-4   1-2   2-5  1  3    1
Cooper          16   1-5   0-0   0-3  0  0    2
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 16-51 13-16 10-33 10 17   51
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.314, FT-.813. 3-Point Goals:
6-19, .316 (Doliboa 0-4, Turner 1-6, Stanley 4-7,
Young 1-1, Morris 0-1). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked
shots: 4 (Holland 2, Cooper 2). Turnovers: 18
(Stanley 4, Doliboa 3, Young 3, Holland 2, Turner
2, Cooper, Green, M Ashman, Morris). Steals: 11
(Morris 3, Stanley 3, Metzler 2, Doliboa,
Holland, Turner).
__________________________________
Cincinnati         23   30  -   53
Dayton             27   24  -   51
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 15,440. Officials:
John Clougherty, Larry Lembo, Frank Scagliotta.

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