Tuesday, January 05, 1999


Land has big day on 19th birthday

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Eugene Land helps Melvin Levett off the floor after a collision under the basket.
(Craig Ruttle photo)

| ZOOM |
        Freshman forward Eugene Land turned 19 Monday, and he returned to a contributing role.

        Land scored 10 points, his fourth double-figuring scoring game in 13 games at UC. His 5-of-7 shooting night in 16 minutes of playing time broke a two-game slump in which he failed to score.

        “It's all about accepting my role,” Land said. “If I get in there, I'm going to do what I can do. And if he has me on the side, I'm going to cheer on my team.”

        Land made five of his first six shots and had the seventh barely roll out of the goal. “Eugene's really trying to do the right thing,” Huggins said. “He's got a great touch around the goal.”

Home again
        UC's game against Marquette was its sixth this season at the Shoemaker Center, and extended the Bearcats' homecourt winning streak to 24 games. By this time last year, UC had played eight of its 11 games at the Shoe.

        Not only have the Bearcats spent more time on the road than they did in 1997-98, they've spent more time on the road than most teams in the Top 25.

        The Bearcats have won seven games away from home (3-0 on the road, 4-0 on neutral courts), more than any other ranked team. Stanford, North Carolina, Purdue, Iowa and TCU are the other Top 25 teams with three road wins. Auburn has four.

        By comparison, when UC was 27-6 last season, it had 19 home wins.

Trophy talk
        UC center Kenyon Martin has the attention of folks who will present two of college basketball's major player of the year awards.

        Although he's just barely averaging 12 points a game, Martin's unselfish play and defense might help him to be included on the midseason list of 30 finalists for the Wooden Award, presented by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

        Martin also is listed as a candidate by the United States Basketball Writers for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, the player of the year award named for the former UC All-American who was the first winner of the award.

        UC's 11 blocks against Marquette ranked second in school history, behind the 14 the Bearcats swatted against DePaul last February.

        • UC forward Pete Mickeal's personal winning streak is at 85 games.

        • UC's 7-of-16 free throw shooting (43.8 percent) was its worst in the last 66 games.

        • Coach Bob Huggins (401-148) has moved into ninth place among active coaches in winning percentage, passing Indiana's Bob Knight.


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