Thrusday, January 7, 1999

UC 87, DePAUL 64


Bearcats take freshmen to school

BY MIKE DeCOURCY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[martin]
Kenyon Martin broke the UC career record for blocks.
(Ernest Coleman photo)

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        Melvin Levett allowed himself a tiny smile after the sixth hit the net. He had fired seven three-point shots, with all but one finding its target.“I didn't want to stop shooting,” he said, but he did.

        Kenyon Martin did a little dance and waved to the crowd after slamming an attempted hook by DePaul's Lance Williams off the backboard, breaking the Cincinnati Bearcats' career record for blocks.

        The individual players had their moments, but Wednesday night at the Shoemaker Center was almost entirely about what No. 3 UC could accomplish together.

        It was about the collective destruction they visited upon Conference USA contender DePaul, 87-64, and its crew of three super freshmen: Williams, Bobby Simmons and star Quentin Richardson.

        It was about sending a message. “That we're the dominant team in the conference,” Martin said. “We're still here, and we're not going anywhere.”

        Martin finished with five blocks and nine rebounds but only attempted two shots in 22 minutes. “I don't need to score to be effective,” Martin said. “We've got other people that can score. I got in foul trouble early, and the other guys stepped up.”

[levett]
Melvin Levett, who scored 27 points, adds his own block.
(AP photo)

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        Levett entered the Shoe with a feeling he claims had not gripped him since he broke the school record for three-pointers and scored 42 points last December. With DePaul opening in a zone but later trying man-to-man and a gimmick defense, he wound up 6-of-12 on threes, 10-of-17 from the field for 27 points.

        “Coach has his philosophy on what he wants to do with the game, and we kind of had ours,” Levett said. “We heard all the stuff about how those guys were going to go to the Final Four as freshmen.

        “They're young, but they're good, and they're going to be good. But not tonight. We were not having it.”

        DePaul (7-6, 1-2) lost its fourth game in its past five and 16th in a row to the Bearcats (14-0, 3-0), but that was not entirely unexpected. It was how UC took apart the freshmen that was impressive.

        The three were 12-of-33 from the floor and combined for 37 points, their lowest output with the exception of two games in which Richardson was limited by the flu.

[tate]
Jermaine Tate is tied up on a drive to the basket.
(Ernest Coleman photo)

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        In the first half, when UC grabbed control and established a 49-31 lead with a 12-point rally in 1 minute, 40 seconds near the end, Williams, Richardson and Simmons were a combined 3-of-16 for 15 points.

        UC guarded the DePaul freshmen as intensely as anyone to date. It appeared the Bearcats were rotating their matchups to keep fresh players on the rookies, but coach Bob Huggins said that was a matter of substituting because of foul trouble and the Blue Demons making position changes as they substituted.

        So Richardson wound up being guarded by 6-6 Pete Mickeal, 6-7 Aaron McGhee and the 6-9 Martin. Williams dealt with 6-10 Ryan Fletcher, 6-9 Jermaine Tate and 6-7 Eugene Land. UC got 25 points and 64 minutes from its bench.

        “They came in at a bad time,” Huggins said of the Blue Demons, “because we didn't play well in the Marquette game. And I don't think we've played poorly or without enthusiasm for two games in a row. We're going to come out and respond.”

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DEPAUL (64)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Avery           14   0-2   2-5   4-5  0  4    2
Simmons         35   2-7  9-10   3-5  2  5   13
Williams        32  4-13   1-4   3-5  0  5    9
Richardson      38  6-13   2-4   6-9  0  2   15
Hartfield       37  5-10   0-1   0-3  3  1   13
Coleman         18   3-5   3-7   1-1  1  0   10
Burno            9   0-2   0-0   1-2  1  1    0
Cooper           8   1-2   0-1   0-1  0  1    2
Peoples          6   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  3    0
Butler           3   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  2    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 21-55 17-32 18-32  7 24   64
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.382, FT-.531. 3-Point Goals:
5-10, .500 (Richardson 1-2, Hartfield 3-6,
Coleman 1-2). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots:
None. Turnovers: 18 (Richardson 5, Simmons 4,
Avery 2, Coleman 2, Williams 2, Hartfield).
Steals: 4 (Coleman 2, Richardson, Simmons).


CINCINNATI (87)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Fletcher        26   4-5   2-3   3-7  0  2   10
Mickeal         36  5-10   4-8   2-3  1  2   15
Martin          22   1-2   2-4   2-9  2  3    4
Horton          16   3-4   0-1   1-1  4  0    6
Levett          36 10-17   1-2   2-9  3  3   27
Logan           17   3-7   2-2   0-0  3  0    9
Tate            10   0-3   2-3   1-1  0  4    2
Mitchell        12   1-4   0-0   1-1  1  2    3
Land            14   2-4   0-0   3-4  0  2    4
Mcghee           8   0-2   4-4   3-3  0  5    4
Myrick           2   1-2   1-1   0-0  0  0    3
Meacham          1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 30-60 18-28 18-38 14 23   87
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.500, FT-.643. 3-Point Goals:
9-22, .409 (Mickeal 1-1, Levett 6-12, Logan 1-4,
Mitchell 1-4, Myrick 0-1). Team rebounds: 3.
Blocked shots: 7 (Martin 5, Mickeal, Land).
Turnovers: 15 (Fletcher 3, Mickeal 3, Horton 2,
Tate 2, Land, Levett, Martin, Mitchell, Myrick).
Steals: 6 (Levett 2, Martin, Mickeal, Myrick,
Tate).
__________________________________
Depaul             31   33  -   64
Cincinnati         49   38  -   87
__________________________________
Technical fouls: Depaul 1 (Bench).  Cincinnati 1
(Bench).  A: 12,264. Officials: Frank Bosone,
Curtis Shaw, Paul Kaster. 



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