Sunday, February 03, 2002

UC notebook

No relief in sight on road

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MILWAUKEE — There's no time for UC to dwell on its first loss in 11 weeks.

        The No.4-ranked Bearcats, who had won 20 straight since dropping their season-opener at Oklahoma State on Nov.16, come out of Saturday's 74-60 loss at Marquette staring at two more tough road games — Wednesday at Charlotte and Saturday at No.24 Wake Forest.

        “I don't think there's any difference,” coach Bob Huggins said. “You're supposed to get ready for the next game whether you win or lose.”

        Said senior Steve Logan: “Guys have just got to get away from basketball for a day and get their minds right and come back focused on what we need to do.”

        The Bearcats are off today, then return to practice Monday.

        They leave Tuesday night for the two games in North Carolina. They have lost three of their last four at Charlotte's Halton Arena, including last year (60-58).

        “We just can't give up,” senior Jamaal Davis said. “It's not the end of the season. We've got to go to Charlotte and play in another hostile environment and come out of there with a win and try to win the conference championship.”

        C-USA RACE:

        Is it too soon to think Cincinnati's six-year reign as Conference USA's regular-season champion might be in jeopardy?

        Memphis, which is running away with the National Division, leads the C-USA race at 9-0. UC and Marquette are 8-1, and Charlotte took a 7-1 record into its game Saturday night at Houston.

        Memphis and Marquette don't play each other because of the new 14-team format.

        “They've been in the driver's seat since Day1,” Huggins said of Memphis.

        The Tigers still have games remaining at Charlotte, at South Florida and at UC. Marquette has what would appear to be the easiest road remaining. It plays at Shoemaker Center (Feb.22), but its other road games are against Southern Miss and East Carolina, two of the weaker teams in the league.


        Chicago Bulls general manager Jerry Krause attended Saturday's game. Hall of Famer Bill Russell had a courtside seat.


        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.


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