Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Bearcats first to 20 victories


UC routs depleted E. Carolina

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[img]
Immanuel McElroy takes it hard to the hole.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
| ZOOM |
        The University of Cincinnati doesn't full-court press much. It doesn't practice it a lot, doesn't usually use it in games for more than a possession or two.

        But when you find out an opponent's top guards are out and a freshman point guard is getting his first career start, well, it doesn't hurt to extend the defense and see what happens.

        “I just wanted to get the game going up and down a little bit,” UC coach Bob Huggins said after a 75-48 victory at Shoemaker Center. “We're not a pressing team.”

        They were for long enough Tuesday night.

        The Bearcats took over early, jumping in front of a depleted East Carolina team 17-2. The Pirates turned over the ball six times in seven possessions — largely because of UC's full-court defensive pressure — and went 5:09 without scoring.

        From that point on, it was just a matter of how large the margin of victory would be.

        The fourth-ranked Bearcats extended the nation's longest winning streak to 20 games. They are the first team in the country to reach 20 victories this season.

        UC (20-1) is unbeaten at the midway point of the Conference USA season at 8-0. Only two league opponents (DePaul and South Florida) have scored more than 62 points against the Bearcats.

        Now we turn to the most anticipated portion of the schedule — the only time UC will play on opponents' home courts three games in a row.

        Here's what's on tap: At Marquette (18-3, 7-1) on Saturday, at Charlotte (13-6, 7-1) a week from tonight, then Feb.9 at No.24 Wake Forest (14-6), where Huggins will renew acquaintances with former Xavier coach Skip Prosser.

        “We haven't, all year, worried about the game after the game,” Huggins said. “Our total focus is going to be on Marquette. I'm not going to worry about who comes after that.”

        The Golden Eagles, who beat UC twice last season, are 11-0 at home and have won seven straight overall.

        “This is a big test for us,” Cincinnati senior Steve Logan said. “You can go out and get some big wins on the road and open some people's eyes. And that's what we want to do.”

        East Carolina trailed 40-22 at halftime, and coach Bill Herrion left the court soaked with sweat through his dress shirt and applauding his players' effort.

        The Pirates (7-13, 1-7), who have lost four straight games, arrived in Cincinnati with 12 players but dressed only nine.

        Starting guards Brandon Hawkins and Travis Holcomb-Faye were suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Reserve guard Fred Primus, a senior who was averaging 5.9 points off the bench, quit the team and was flown back to Greenville on Tuesday morning.

        “I really wanted them to play because of how they treated us up there,” Logan said.

        On the plus side for the Pirates, they had sophomore center Gabriel Mikulas (13.5 ppg), an Argentina native who returned Jan. 8 from a 13-game NCAA suspension for competing in non-sanctioned games. Mikulas, the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Year last season, led the Pirates with 12 points and five rebounds.

        ECU played a zone defense all night, trying to slow down the game and force the Bearcats to beat them from the outside — when they weren't scoring in transition.

        Cincinnati was 10-of-27 from 3-point range.

        Sophomore guard Field Williams had four 3s in the first half and 12 of his 18 points. It was the third time in four games Williams scored in double figures.

        Logan finished with 18 points and moved into fifth place on UC's all-time scoring list with 1,672 career points. He also had nine assists and won his 100th game as a Bearcat, tying school and C-USA records.

        NOTEWORTHY:

        • UC tied a school record for its best 21-game start and tied for the earliest date the program has reached 20 victories. The 1999-2000 team also won No.20 on Jan.29.

        • Cincinnati wore its red uniforms for the third time (Richmond, Akron, East Carolina) and is 3-0 in the new jerseys.


Box Score

EAST CAROLINA (48)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Brown           30   3-9   0-0   0-2  3  1    6
Bing            30   2-9   4-6  2-10  2  2    9
Mikulas         37   5-7   2-3   0-5  1  2   12
Foxx            18   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  1    0
Boddie          27   2-9   0-1   1-3  0  3    4
Duckett          2   1-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    2
Badiane         23   3-4   0-0   1-4  1  5    6
Moore           32  4-13   0-0   1-5  2  0    9
Twitty           1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 20-52  6-10  5-29  9 14   48
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.385, FT-.600. 3-Point Goals:
2-9, .222 (Brown 0-1, Bing 1-1, Moore 1-7). Team
rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 5 (Badiane 2,
Mikulas, Boddie, Brown). Turnovers: 20 (Boddie 6,
Bing 4, Mikulas 3, Foxx 2, Badiane, Brown).
Steals: 4 (Badiane, Boddie, Brown, Moore).


CINCINNATI (75)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Davis           30   6-8   0-0   2-6  2  0   12
Mcelroy         27   3-5   1-4   2-3  1  2    7
Little          21   2-6   0-2   0-6  1  4    4
Stokes          27  5-10   0-2   4-6  3  1   10
Logan           31  7-14   0-0   0-0  9  2   18
Williams        18  6-14   0-0   0-2  1  0   18
Meeker           1   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Lucas            2   0-1   0-0   0-0  1  0    0
Barker          11   0-1   0-0   0-3  2  1    0
Flowers          5   1-2   2-2   3-6  0  0    4
Crawford        10   0-0   0-0   1-2  2  2    0
Hubbard          2   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Grove            2   1-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    2
Maxiell         13   0-3   0-0   1-4  0  1    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 31-67  3-10 13-38 22 13   75
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.463, FT-.300. 3-Point Goals:
10-27, .370 (Davis 0-1, Stokes 0-1, Logan 4-10,
Williams 6-12, Meeker 0-1, Barker 0-1, Hubbard
0-1). Team rebounds: 1. Blocked shots: 6 (Little
2, Mcelroy, Stokes, Williams, Maxiell).
Turnovers: 10 (Little 4, Williams 2, Hubbard,
Logan, Mcelroy, Stokes). Steals: 6 (Stokes 3,
Davis 2, Logan).
__________________________________
East Carolina      22   26  -   48
Cincinnati         40   35  -   75
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 12,324. Officials: Tom
Rucker, Tim Higgins, Tom Eades.

       



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State polls


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