Thursday, February 22, 2001

UC 68, Saint Louis 61


Stokes' big second half keys comeback

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[img]
Leonard Stokes scored 14 points.
(Steven M. Herppich photos)
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        Leonard Stokes missed a 3-point attempt with about six minutes left in the first half. Soon there was a timeout, and when the University of Cincinnati sophomore went to the bench, coach Bob Huggins was waiting for him.

        “He told me to pick my head up and shoot the ball with confidence because he knows I can make shots,” Stokes said.

        Scoreless the previous two games, Stokes collected 12 of his 14 points in the final 9:44 and had four of the Bearcats' seven second-half field goals Wednesday night.

        When its 68-61 victory over Saint Louis was over, all UC could do was breathe a sigh of relief. And be thankful Stokes got aggressive offensively in the second half.

        He had averaged 2.3 points on a combined 3-of-15 shooting over the past three games.

        “Sometimes he gets down on himself too much in practice when he misses a shot,” sophomore Kenny Satterfield said. “A lot of guys are always telling him: "Pick your head up. You're going to make more shots than you miss if you concentrate.' And that's what he did tonight. I think he was more focused in the second half.”

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Steve Logan (right) wrestles Floyd McClain for a loose ball.
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        Coming off a home defeat to Marquette on Sunday night, UC could not afford another so-called “bad loss” to a Billikens team ranked No.124 in the Ratings Percentage Index. Saint Louis already defeated UC 71-62 in overtime Jan.20.

        Cincinnati still has never lost two straight games at Shoemaker Center. The Bearcats are 18-8 (8-5 Conference USA) and tied for second place in the American Division with Charlotte, one half game behind Marquette, which plays host to DePaul tonight.

        “We all knew we had to win,” junior Immanuel McElroy said. “When the buzzer went off, it made all of us feel happy.”

        “We're fighting for our lives right now,” Huggins said.

        UC was 18-of-28 from the foul line in the second half and outscored the Billikens 16-8 in the final 6:12.

        The Bearcats had season highs for free throws made (27), attempted (42) and tied a season high for misses (15).

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Bob Huggins expresses his displeasure.
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        Saint Louis started the second half with a 6-0 run and built a 44-35 lead with 16:59 remaining. The Bearcats went 6:37 without a field goal.

        “I don't think we came out with as much intensity as we planned on,” Satterfield said.

        “Sometimes you look up (at the scoreboard) and you're just like, "Man, what's going on?'” Stokes said.

        Their first basket of the half came when Steve Logan found McElroy racing downcourt in transition and fired him a perfect pass on his way to the basket. McElroy dunked and was fouled. He made his free throw to cut Saint Louis' lead to 45-42.

        A Satterfield 3-pointer tied the game at 49 with 8:08 left. After a Billikens turnover, Stokes drove into the paint and hit a short jumper to put the Bearcats ahead 51-49 — their first lead since 6-3 just 1:47 into the game.

        Saint Louis regained the lead on a three-point play by sophomore guard Marque Perry, who hit a running bank shot with the shot clock running out while being fouled. His free throw made it 53-52 with 6:28 to go.

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Donald Little blocks a shot.
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        The Bearcats then took over with an 8-0 run, started by a driving short jumper by Stokes and followed by six free throws in seven attempts.

        Stokes was fouled on a 3-point attempt, made all three shots and put Cincinnati ahead 60-53 with 4:15 remaining.

        “I just didn't want to lose,” Stokes said. “Sometimes I assert myself and sometimes I don't. I've just got to be more consistent.”

        Saint Louis pulled within 60-59 with 2:32 left when Maurice Jeffers tipped in his own miss, but the Bearcats came through with two McElroy free throws and a Logan jumper from the foul line. That was enough to ice it.

        Satterfield led UC with 17 points, ending Logan's streak of 11 straight games as the team's top scorer. Logan finished with 12 and McElroy 14.

        “When we stay together, nobody can beat us,” Satterfield said. “When guys get down on themselves ... we've got problems.”

        Saint Louis, which has lost three straight and six of its past eight games, is 13-13, 5-8.

McElroy steps up on offense


ST LOUIS (61)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Baniak          18  6-10   0-0   1-4  0  3   13
Edwin           17   2-7   0-0   1-3  1  3    6
Heinrich        27   3-5   0-2   4-9  0  4    6
Perry           31  4-10   5-5   0-0  4  4   13
Jeffers         33  4-10   0-0   2-5  0  5    8
Mcclain         14   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  3    0
Fisher          20   0-2   2-2   0-0  3  5    2
Tatum           23   5-8   3-5   1-5  0  2   13
Diener           4   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Sloan            1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Braun           12   0-0   0-0   1-1  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 24-53 10-14 10-27  8 29   61
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.453, FT-.714. 3-Point Goals:
3-5, .600 (Baniak 1-1, Edwin 2-2, Jeffers 0-1,
Mcclain 0-1). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 2
(Jeffers 2). Turnovers: 16 (Heinrich 4, Jeffers
3, Perry 3, Braun 2, Edwin, Fisher, Tatum).
Steals: 4 (Jeffers 2, Tatum 2).


CINCINNATI (68)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Jones           15   2-5   0-0   2-2  0  0    4
Mcelroy         29   4-6   5-5   0-1  3  2   14
Little          35   1-3   2-4   2-9  1  2    4
Satterfield     39   3-7  9-14   0-4  4  2   17
Logan           28  5-10   2-4   0-2  1  4   12
Davis           17   0-0   0-0   1-1  0  2    0
Williams         1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  1    0
Stokes          23   4-9   6-7   3-7  0  1   14
Flowers          1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Crawford         1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Grove           11   0-2   3-8   2-2  0  3    3
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 19-42 27-42 10-28  9 17   68
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.452, FT-.643. 3-Point Goals:
3-12, .250 (Jones 0-2, Mcelroy 1-1, Satterfield
2-4, Logan 0-4, Stokes 0-1). Team rebounds: 1.
Blocked shots: 4 (Little 3, Davis). Turnovers: 13
(Satterfield 5, Grove 2, Davis, Jones, Little,
Logan, Mcelroy, Stokes). Steals: 7 (Satterfield
3, Davis, Grove, Little, Stokes).
__________________________________
St Louis           38   23  -   61
Cincinnati         35   33  -   68
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 13,176. Officials: Tom
Harrington, Sam Croft, Mark Whitehead.


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