Sunday, January 28, 2001

UC 78, Wake Forest 72

Bearcats find focus in nick of time

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Jamaal Davis and B.J. Grove celebrate the overtime win.
(Jeff Swinger photo)
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        The passion was back, at least for Saturday. The University of Cincinnati basketball players were having fun. They were cheering and talking to each other on the bench. They were celebrating teammates' big plays and watching closely when they were not in the game.

        The result: A much-needed 78-72 overtime victory over ninth-ranked Wake Forest that avoided a first-ever two-game losing streak at Shoemaker Center.

        “Everything was riding on this game,” junior Steve Logan said. “We showed a little toughness and a little heart. We played as a team.”

        “We have to come out all the time and have fun and be ready to play,” junior Jamaal Davis said. “We can't let this game carry us for the rest of the year.”

        UC almost blew it. The Bearcats led by 10 with 4:42 left in regulation, but made one field goal and were outscored 15-5 to send the game to OT. They had the ball with 55.3 seconds left in regulation and a chance to win.

Steve Logan had 20 points.
(AP photo)
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        First, Logan missed a 3-point attempt, but Davis got the offensive rebound. Kenny Satterfield ran some time off the clock, drove into the paint and lost the ball, turning it over with 2.7 seconds to play.

        After a timeout, Wake Forest tried a desperation heave from just over the halfcourt line. It was an air ball.

        “Just another five minutes of battle,” Davis said.

        While the Bearcats could not stop Wake Forest near the end of regulation, their defense did the job in the final minutes of overtime, holding the Demon Deacons to two points in the last 3:27.

        The score was tied at 70 when Satterfield hit a turnaround jumper from about eight feet out with 1:24 remaining. After a Wake Forest miss, Logan nailed a pull-up jumper to make it 74-70 with 46.1 seconds left.

        Robert O'Kelley drove for an uncontested layup to pull the Demon Deacons within two, but they did not make another shot. UC went 4-of-6 on free throws to seal the win.

Kenny Satterfield
(AP photo)
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        Cincinnati won despite having just three field goals and missing seven free throws in the game's final 9 1/2 minutes. The top free-throw-shooting team in Conference USA coming in (.697), UC was just 21-of-36 (.583) from the foul line Saturday.

        The Bearcats overcame that by shooting 60.9 percent from the field in the second half and 66.7 percent in overtime. This after shooting 30.3 percent in the game's first 20 minutes.

        There were nine ties and 15 lead changes.

        “I thought our best efforts were in Puerto Rico, when it was just us, and our kids really joined together for the sole purpose of winning that tournament,” Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins said.

        “Today we played all 10 guys. I thought all our guys were into winning the game. Not that they haven't wanted to win the games before, but they were kind of into some other things, too. How many shots I got? How many minutes I played? Today I thought our bench was as lively as it's been all year.”

        When the final buzzer sounded, Davis leaped from the sideline waving a white towel, and B.J. Grove stood at midcourt waving his arms in the air.

Donald Little
(Jeff Swinger photo)
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        “Winning makes it fun,” said Logan, who scored a game-high 20 points. “You should've seen us in the locker room. It was a relief win. We needed it, and at the same time, we worked hard to get it. We've got to learn to do it every game.”

        UC ended a two-game losing streak and improved to 13-6, though it is just 3-3 in C-USA. Wake Forest, which was ranked No.4 on Jan.1, has lost five of its last seven games.

        After Wednesday's loss to Louisville, Huggins questioned his team's effort. After the previous loss at Saint Louis, he wondered why some of his players weren't putting in extra time in the gym. He was happier Saturday.

        “We did a better job today of studying the opposition and studying ourselves,” Huggins said. “Our guys looked at more tape and prepared better on their own. There have been games where all the preparation that the coaches have done and everything they've tried to give the guys, they haven't soaked it up very good. We were so much more coachable today.”

SULLIVAN: UC's long road not without hope
Stokes provides spark for UC

                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Songaila        29  4-10 10-11   5-8  3  4   18
Dawson          35  3-12   2-2   1-5  2  1    9
Shoemaker       31   2-3   0-0   1-6  1  3    4
Okelley         35  5-11   0-3   1-1  1  3   12
Murray          17   0-0   0-0   2-3  0  4    0
Hicks           30  5-14   5-6   0-2  2  3   18
Howard          18   2-5   0-2   0-3  1  2    4
Scott           13   1-5   2-2   0-1  0  1    4
Vidaurreta      17   1-2   1-2   3-6  0  3    3
TOTALS         225 23-62 20-28 13-35 10 24   72

Percentages: FG-.371, FT-.714. 3-Point Goals:
6-20, .300 (Dawson 1-6, Shoemaker 0-1, Okelley
2-5, Hicks 3-8). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots:
3 (Scott 2, Hicks). Turnovers: 14 (Songaila 6,
Howard 2, Okelley 2, Vidaurreta 2, Hicks, Scott).
Steals: 4 (Hicks 2, Howard 2).

                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Davis           28   4-7   3-8   4-8  0  5   11
Grove           26   2-6   0-3   1-5  1  3    4
Satterfield     34  4-10   6-8   0-6  8  3   14
Logan           43  8-17   2-2   0-1  1  2   20
Mcelroy         13   2-4   1-3   2-6  1  0    5
Williams        11   2-2   0-0   0-0  0  0    5
Jones           10   0-3   0-0   0-2  0  3    0
Stokes          35   2-5   6-6   1-3  1  0   12
Flowers          3   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  1    0
Little          22   2-5   3-6   4-7  0  4    7
TOTALS         225 26-59 21-36 12-38 12 21   78

Percentages: FG-.441, FT-.583. 3-Point Goals:
5-16, .313 (Davis 0-1, Satterfield 0-2, Logan
2-8, Williams 1-1, Jones 0-1, Stokes 2-3). Team
rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 2 (Little 2).
Turnovers: 12 (Satterfield 5, Little 2, Logan 2,
Davis, Grove, Mcelroy). Steals: 5 (Davis 2,
Grove, Logan, Satterfield).
Wake Forest        28   38    6  -   72
Cincinnati         26   40   12  -   78
Technical fouls: Cincinnati 1 (Bench).  A:
13,176. Officials: John Clougherty, Charles
Range, Kerry Sitton.

Bearcats Stories
- UC 78, Wake Forest 72
SULLIVAN: UC's long road not without hope
Stokes provides spark for UC

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• Nippert Stadium
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