Sunday, March 18, 2001

UC notebook

Huggins prods; Davis produces

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer


Jamaal Davis
(Ernest Coleman photo)
        SAN DIEGO - Jamaal Davis was the last player to leave the University of Cincinnati locker room prior to Saturday's game. Before he could head to the court, coach Bob Huggins stopped him, looked him in the eye and said: “We need a big game out of you today.”

        “You've got to react to the best of your ability or it's tough come halftime,” Davis said with a smile. “Coach is a real hard competitor, and I think he pushes us all the time to be just as competitive as he is.”

        The junior forward led the Bearcats with 16 points - tying a career high - and had a career-high 10 rebounds in the 66-43 victory over Kent State that propelled UC into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. It was his first career double-double.

        Steve Logan added 13 points, and Kenny Satterfield had 10 points and seven assists for UC.

        Davis, who had not scored in double figures since Feb.3, also had a career-high eight field goals (in nine attempts). He scored Cincinnati's first basket. On its third possession, he rebounded a Logan miss, then rebounded and scored off his own missed putback.

        “When I made my first bucket, I felt like I could make a big impact,” Davis said.

        Said Huggins: “He did a great job of rebounding ear ly, and that helped his confidence. We tried to reward him and throw it in there a little bit, and he scored. He played with a lot more confidence after that.”

        BIG CALL: Here is one of those plays that gets forgotten but may have had a big impact on the momentum:

        Trailing 16-12, Kent's Demetric Shaw nailed a 3-pointer that would have cut the deficit to one point. But it was waved off because Rashaun Warren had committed an offensive foul under the basket. Cincinnati then scored on a layup inside by Davis, starting a 7-0 run that gave the Bearcats a 23-12 lead.

        INJURY UPDATE: Logan sprained his pinky with 10:08 left and had to go to the locker room. He returned with 7:22 remaining and said he'd be fine for the next game.

        BEARCATS PERSEVERE: UC won Saturday despite committing 17 turnovers - its second-highest total of the season. UC had averaged just 6.6 turnovers over the previous five games. Also, starting small forward Immanuel McElroy finished with just two points, his lowest output since the sixth game of the season.

        NOW WHAT? The Bearcats plan to take today off, return to practice Monday in San Diego and leave Tuesday for Anaheim.

        NOTABLE NUMBERS: UC is 36-18 in NCAA Tournament games. ... Kent State's 43 points were a season-low for a Cincinnati opponent. The Golden Flashes missed nine of their first 10 shots.

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