Sunday, February 03, 2002

Marquette's Wade sparks upset of Bearcats

Catch-21: UC loss ends streak at 20

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

“We got beat in every way possible,” UC coach Bob Huggins said. “From me right on down.”
(AP photo)
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        MILWAUKEE — Everything Marquette did Saturday had to look familiar to the University of Cincinnati.

        The Golden Eagles played great defense, hit timely 3-pointers, had an unstoppable leading scorer and seized the opportunity to put away the game.

        It was all very Bearcat-like.

        And that's how the nation's longest winning streak (20 games) came to a halt.

        Marquette didn't just defeat No.4 Cincinnati 74-60, it handed UC its worst Conference USA loss before an enthusiastic audience of 18,698 at the Bradley Center, the largest crowd to see a college basketball game in the state of Wisconsin.

        “We got beat in every way possible,” UC coach Bob Huggins said. “From me right on down.”

        The Golden Eagles (19-3, 8-1 Conference USA) won their eighth straight game and are positioned to climb back into the Associated Press Top25 on Monday. They were ranked as high as No.14 earlier in the season but dropped out Jan.7 after losing three of four games.

        The postgame celebration was quite a sight. Fans, mostly students, stormed onto the floor and ended up lifting Marquette sophomore Dwyane Wade on their shoulders. Students were carried on other students' shoulders. They waved an American flag. Beer and shoes went flying through the air.

        One fan got in the face of UC senior Steve Logan and jabbed his finger at Huggins as they tried to leave the floor.

        After a brief television interview, Marquette coach Tom Crean high-fived students who kept shouting, “Thank you, Coach.”

        Cincinnati (20-2, 8-1) had not lost by as many as 14 points since Dec.13, 1997, against Xavier (88-68). Marquette was the first team to shoot 50 percent against the Bearcats since Stanford in the NCAA Tournament last season.

        The Golden Eagles have beaten UC four of the past five games at the Bradley Center.

        “When we come in here, they always play us tough,” Logan said. “They got going, and we didn't get going early in the game. They got their crowd into it early; that's what we didn't want them to do.”

        The game turned Marquette's way when it went on a 17-6 run to go ahead 21-11 midway through the first half. UC starters Logan, Immanuel McElroy, Donald Little and reserve Jason Maxiell all got in foul trouble.

        At the 7:30 mark, Huggins put this lineup on the floor: Taron Barker, Field Williams, Rodney Crawford, Jamaal Davis and B.J. Grove.

        “I think (head student manager) Corey Brinn was the next one to get in,” Huggins said.

        Still, UC battled back to within four points by halftime.

        In the second half, the Bearcats never got closer than six points. Leonard Stokes rebounded a Logan miss, then missed a layup inside on UC's first possession.

        “We just didn't make any shots,” Huggins said. “I don't know that Leonard Stokes can get any better shots than what he got. I'm not sure we can get McElroy better shots than what he got.”

        Logan and Stokes combined for 21 points on 9-of-26 shooting, including 0-of-8 from 3-point range.

        Marquette's starting backcourt (Wade and Cordell Henry) combined for 45 points on 16-of-26 shooting, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range.

        Logan, who led UC with 15 points, was the only Bearcat in double figures, and he scored 12 of his points in the final 12:42.

        “He was tired of watching those others guys miss,” Huggins said. “I was, too. I think he tried to be unselfish and go to other guys when they were wide open. He threw them the ball and they kept missing, so he decided that maybe he ought to shoot some. Probably a good decision on his part.”

        UC pulled to within 51-45 with 10:18 remaining, then Marquette answered with a 3-pointer by freshman Travis Diener. After a Logan miss, Henry nailed a 3. All of a sudden, the Golden Eagles had a 12-point lead.

        Marquette came up with all the big plays in the final minutes. UC cut it to 11, then the Golden Eagles scored on an offensive rebound basket. It was 11 again, and Henry hit a 3 with the shot clock running out.

        “I don't think our intensity or emotional level defensively ever wavered,” Crean said. “And I think we're able to come down and weather the storm offensively.”

        McElroy, who is usually able to take an opponent's best player out of the game, was unable to hold down Wade, who finished with 25 points and eight rebounds and was the dominant player on the floor.

        Henry added 20 points and Diener 11.

        “We missed so many wide-open shots to start the game that our guys had their heads down,” Huggins said. “Mac had to miss three wide-open shots. I think when you make shots, you play harder on defense.

        “I think we've slipped a bit defensively in the last couple of weeks. (And) they just out-toughed us on the glass again.”

        Marquette won the rebounding battle 31-28. The Bearcats were just 3-of-16 (.188) from 3-point range and just 13-of-23 (.565) from the foul line.

        “We've got to make shots,” Logan said. “That's what it always comes down to. And there shouldn't be a time when we don't guard. I don't think we guarded today.

        “Everybody didn't step up, including myself. I got in foul trouble, and it kind of took me out of my rhythm in the first half. But we need guys to step up. It's as simple as that. We've got a lot of seniors and juniors who have been in big-time games. It's just disappointing to lose this one here.”


        At halftime, UC's reserves were outscoring the starters 17-12. ... UC and Marquette are the only teams in C-USA unbeaten at home. Marquette is 12-0, including 11-0 at the Bradley Center. UC is 11-0 at Shoemaker Center.

Box Score

                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Davis           34   1-5   4-6   3-4  2  1    6
Williams        23   1-3   0-0   0-0  0  1    3
Stokes          25   2-9   2-4   1-2  0  4    6
Barker          13   2-5   0-0   0-2  0  0    6
Logan           31  7-17   1-2   0-0  6  3   15
Mcelroy         23   4-8   1-3   0-2  3  3    9
Flowers          3   1-1   0-0   2-2  0  1    2
Crawford         5   0-0   0-0   0-1  1  2    0
Grove            7   0-0   2-2   0-3  0  1    2
Little          19   1-3   0-2   0-2  0  4    2
Maxiell         17   3-3   3-4   2-7  0  4    9
TOTALS         200 22-54 13-23  8-25 12 24   60

Percentages: FG-.407, FT-.565. 3-Point Goals:
3-16, .188 (Davis 0-1, Williams 1-3, Stokes 0-2,
Barker 2-4, Logan 0-6). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked
shots: 2 (Little, Maxiell). Turnovers: 9 (Stokes
3, Barker, Davis, Grove, Little, Logan, Maxiell).
Steals: 2 (Barker, Little).

                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Blankson        20   1-2   1-1   1-7  0  4    3
Nnamaka         36   1-6   1-2   3-4  1  4    3
Merritt         23   2-5   4-5   1-4  0  4    8
Wade            26  9-13  7-11   1-8  0  2   25
Henry           38  7-13   4-6   0-2  5  2   20
Diener          27   2-6   5-6   0-3  2  1   11
Diggs            9   0-0   2-2   0-0  2  0    2
Harris          17   1-1   0-0   2-2  1  2    2
Sanders          4   0-0   0-0   0-1  1  2    0
TOTALS         200 23-46 24-33  8-31 12 21   74

Percentages: FG-.500, FT-.727. 3-Point Goals:
4-9, .444 (Blankson 0-1, Henry 2-4, Diener 2-4).
Team rebounds: None. Blocked shots: 1 (Nnamaka).
Turnovers: 8 (Henry 3, Blankson 2, Merritt,
Sanders, Wade). Steals: 4 (Wade 3, Blankson).
Cincinnati         29   31  -   60
Marquette          33   41  -   74
Technical fouls: None.  A: 18,698. Officials: Tom
O'neill, Sam Croft, Rick Hartzell.

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