Sunday, February 04, 2001

UC 91, DePaul 70

Aggressive Stokes heeds Huggins' call

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Field Williams, wearing a new Afro, celebrates after hitting two 3s in a row.
(Jeff Swinger photos)
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        Sophomore Leonard Stokes is typically pleasant, soft-spoken, well-mannered. Which is all fine with Bob Huggins until tipoff. That's when the University of Cincinnati coach would like to see a less amiable player emerge.

        “Leonard's the nicest guy you ever want to be around off the floor and too many times he's that way on the floor,” Huggins said. “It can't be that way. He's got to be more aggressive. He's got to change personality on the floor.”

        Stokes is trying. He scored 17 points off the bench Saturday — his best output since Dec.16 — in a 91-70 victory over DePaul, leading the way for a season-high 38 points from UC's reserves.

        He finished 6-of-8 from the field and hit all three of his 3-point attempts before a soldout Shoemaker Center.

Donald Little hands out a little punishment.
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        Over the past four games, Stokes is shooting .615 from the field (16-of-26) and .667 from 3-point range (6-of-9) while averaging 12 points. He's driving to the basket and hitting mid-range jumpers — much like he did through the first seven games of the season.

        “Leonard's been so much more assertive again,” Huggins said.

        Stokes went through a six-game stretch in January when he averaged just 5.0 points, shot .314 from the field and made only 1 of 11 attempts from behind the 3-point line.

        “It's hard to go to sleep when the team's losing and you're not playing well,” Stokes said.

        So he came early to practice and stayed late with assistant coach Keith LeGree. They talked over details, such as squaring up to the basket and getting in triple threat (shoot, pass, dribble) position.

        All the while, Huggins continued to talk to him about his demeanor.

        “Sometimes off the court I'm just friendly with everybody,” Stokes said. “I try to work on it. When I grab a rebound, I try to be as aggressive as possible. When you're not like that, it's kind of tough. I just like to have fun and smile a lot. But when it's time to buckle down, you've got to buckle down.”

        On Friday, Huggins spoke of the need for more players to contribute offensively. Those comments came after Thursday's 60-58 loss at Charlotte during which all Bearcats not named “Logan” totaled eight second-half points.

        Stokes had all six of his points in that game in the first half. He only attempted two shots in the second half.

        “The more involved Leonard is, the better we're going to be,” Huggins said. The Bearcats are 11-2 when Stokes scores in double figures, 4-5 when he doesn't.

B.J. Grove tries to get the crowd going.
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        UC shot a sizzling 65 percent in the first 20 minutes and hit eight of its first 10 attempts from 3-point range. The Bearcats shot 55 percent for the game, second-best for the season and only the fifth time they were .500 or better (they're 5-0 in those games).

        “We had a heart-to-heart at halftime,” Huggins said. “We just weren't going and getting (the rebounds). We weren't very aggressive. We didn't go after the ball. We're lucky we made shots.”

        Junior Steve Logan led UC in scoring for the eighth straight game with 22 points. Antwan Jones scored 11 in 17 minutes, and Jamaal Davis and Kenny Satterfield added 10 points each.

        Cincinnati (15-7) is 5-4 in Conference USA, second place in the American Division, 1 1/2 games behind Marquette. DePaul, picked to finished second in the division in the preseason, dropped to 10-11, 2-7.

        The Blue Demons cut UC's lead to six with 11:08 remaining, but they would get no closer. Donald Little tipped in a 3-point miss by Logan to start a 9-0 Bearcats run.

        “We finished strong,” Logan said. “We got up and down the court. Satt pushed the ball and found some guys and we got open looks. And we played defense down the stretch.”

SULLIVAN: Logan makes UC go
Goggles don't blur McElroy's aim

                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Simmons         33   2-9   4-6   2-7  0  4    9
Williams        36  9-15   1-2   4-8  0  1   19
Hunter          26   4-8  6-12  5-10  1  2   14
Tulley          38  1-10   1-2   4-8  2  4    4
Sawyer          38  8-16   1-2   0-0  4  2   20
Brown           18   1-2   0-2   2-3  0  3    2
Cashin           2   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Burno            9   1-2   0-0   2-2  0  0    2
TOTALS         200 26-62 13-26 19-38  7 16   70

Percentages: FG-.419, FT-.500. 3-Point Goals:
5-17, .294 (Simmons 1-4, Tulley 1-5, Sawyer 3-8).
Team rebounds: 1. Blocked shots: 1 (Hunter).
Turnovers: 12 (Williams 4, Hunter 2, Sawyer 2,
Tulley 2, Brown, Simmons). Steals: 4 (Burno,
Sawyer, Simmons, Williams).

                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Davis           20   5-7   0-0   3-7  0  4   10
Mcelroy         12   4-5   1-2   0-0  1  2    9
Grove           16   1-1   0-0   2-5  2  1    2
Satterfield     36   3-9   2-2   0-4  6  3   10
Logan           30  8-17   5-5   0-0  3  2   22
Williams        14   2-4   0-0   0-0  4  1    6
Jones           17   3-5   2-2   0-2  2  2   11
Stokes          26   6-8   2-2   1-4  0  1   17
Flowers          3   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Little          26   2-5   0-1   2-6  1  4    4
TOTALS         200 34-61 12-14  8-28 19 20   91

Percentages: FG-.557, FT-.857. 3-Point Goals:
11-23, .478 (Satterfield 2-5, Logan 1-6, Williams
2-4, Jones 3-5, Stokes 3-3). Team rebounds: 1.
Blocked shots: 3 (Little 3). Turnovers: 8 (Logan
2, Satterfield 2, Stokes 2, Davis, Grove).
Steals: 3 (Logan, Satterfield, Williams).
Depaul             40   30  -   70
Cincinnati         49   42  -   91
Technical fouls: None.  A: 13,176. Officials:
David Bair, Jim Jenkins, Arnie Mcdonald.

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- UC 91, DePaul 70
SULLIVAN: Logan makes UC go
Goggles don't blur McElroy's aim

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