Wednesday, February 13, 2002

UC goes back to basics


'D' key in win vs. Saint Louis

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        OK, enough of the explosive offense. The University of Cincinnati returned to its defensive ways Tuesday night and grinded out a 67-53 victory over Saint Louis.

        Coming off its 103-point performance Saturday at Wake Forest, the No.5-ranked Bearcats (23-2) won their third straight game and improved to 11-0 against the Billikens at Shoemaker Center.

        They also moved into a first-place tie with Marquette atop Conference USA's American Division at 10-1. And they didn't do it with much flair.

        “I thought we played when we had to play,” UC coach Bob Huggins said. “I don't think it was our intensity (that was lacking). I thought it was our execution, particularly offensively. We won and we stayed in the league race; that's the main thing.”

        Steve Logan led the Bearcats with 21 points and five assists. The senior guard tied Pat Cummings (1976-79) for fourth place on UC's career scoring list with 1,762 points.

        Logan was 7-of-7 from the foul line, making him 17-of-17 over the past two games.

        “I wonder how Steve Logan would be over in Afghanistan or somewhere,” Saint Louis coach Lorenzo Romar said. “I bet he'd be pretty poised. He just does not get rattled.”

        Junior Leonard Stokes added 12 points and seven rebounds, and senior Jamaal Davis had 11 points for UC.

        Freshman Jason Maxiell came off the bench for 11 points, six rebounds and a career-high seven blocked shots — the most by a UC player since Kenyon Martin had 10 against Memphis on Jan.17, 2000.

        “There was another guy they had around here flying around like that a couple years ago — Kenyon Martin,” Romar said. “I'm not telling you (Maxiell) is going to be the first player picked in the draft, but he does some of the things that Kenyon does. He gets you looking around when you drive to the basket, because he comes out of nowhere. And offensively, he's got a nice turnaround jump shot.”

        The Bearcats had a hard time shaking Saint Louis early in the second half. The Billikens were within 40-37 when Cincinnati went on a 12-2 run, capped by back-to-back three-point plays by Logan and Stokes.

        That put UC ahead 52-39 with 6:20 remaining. Saint Louis never got closer than nine after that even though the Bearcats were not at their best.

        “We didn't have as much of a flow as we usually have,” Maxiell said.

        What hurt the Billikens most: 23 turnovers.

        UC never trailed. The closest Saint Louis would get all night was at 18-17 after a 3-pointer by Jason Edwin.

        Logan came right back and hit a 3 for the Bearcats to start a 7-0 run. Cincinnati outscored the Billikens 13-4 in the final 5:45 of the first half.

        Saint Louis trailed 29-21 and was set for what appeared to be the final possession of the half. It had the ball out of bounds under its basket with 8.1 seconds left and called a timeout. The Billikens could not get the ball in and were called for five seconds, turning it over.

        Cincinnati called a timeout. Logan picked up a bouncing inbounds pass near halfcourt and drove right to the basket for a layup. That gave the Bearcats a 10-point halftime lead.

        It didn't help that junior point guard Marque Perry, Saint Louis' top scorer and floor leader, picked up his second personal foul just 2:14 into the game and went to the bench for the rest of the first half.

        “It makes a difference when he doesn't play,” Romar said.

        Perry scored a team-high 15 points — 10 in the final 5:13 — for Saint Louis, which dropped to 11-14, 5-7 C-USA. Edwin added 12 and Kenny Brown 10.


ST LOUIS (53)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Sloan           23   1-2   1-2   0-2  2  1    3
Brown           21   3-8   4-4   4-7  0  3   10
Fisher          31   1-3   0-0   0-2  5  5    2
Perry           22  6-10   3-4   1-1  0  3   15
Edwin           23   5-7   0-0   1-3  0  3   12
Pulley          21   1-3   0-0   1-2  0  1    2
Diener          23   1-5   0-0   0-4  0  0    3
Varner          12   0-2   0-0   0-3  0  2    0
Braun           24   2-7   2-2   1-3  0  3    6
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 20-47 10-12  8-27  7 21   53
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.426, FT-.833. 3-Point Goals:
3-8, .375 (Perry 0-1, Edwin 2-4, Diener 1-2,
Varner 0-1). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 4
(Pulley, Edwin, Sloan, Brown). Turnovers: 23
(Perry 6, Fisher 4, Edwin 3, Pulley 2, Sloan 2,
Braun, Brown, Varner). Steals: 5 (Fisher 2,
Braun, Diener, Varner).


CINCINNATI (67)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Davis           35   4-5   2-2   0-2  1  1   11
Mcelroy         35   4-8   0-0   2-3  2  2    8
Little          11   0-2   0-0   0-1  2  3    0
Stokes          34   4-8   4-5   1-7  1  2   12
Logan           38  6-15   7-7   1-3  5  4   21
Williams         5   0-2   0-0   1-1  0  0    0
Barker           8   1-1   0-2   0-1  1  1    2
Flowers          4   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  0    0
Crawford         4   1-2   0-0   0-0  0  0    2
Maxiell         26   5-7   1-4   2-6  0  3   11
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 25-50 14-20  7-25 12 16   67
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.500, FT-.700. 3-Point Goals:
3-8, .375 (Davis 1-1, Mcelroy 0-1, Stokes 0-1,
Logan 2-4, Williams 0-1). Team rebounds: 1.
Blocked shots: 9 (Maxiell 7, Little, Stokes).
Turnovers: 14 (Logan 5, Stokes 3, Little 2,
Maxiell 2, Crawford, Mcelroy). Steals: 7 (Davis
2, Stokes 2, Barker, Logan, Mcelroy).
__________________________________
St Louis           21   32  -   53
Cincinnati         31   36  -   67
__________________________________
Technical fouls: St Louis 1 (Bench).  A: 13,176.
Officials: Tom O'neill, Mark Whitehead, Tom
Rucker.

       

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