Sunday, March 17, 2002

UC loses to UCLA

Bearcats ousted in two overtimes

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

A red-faced Bob Huggins speaks to media after the game.
(Jeff Swinger photo)
| ZOOM |
        PITTSBURGH -- “No one ever thought it would end today.” Senior forward Jamaal Davis' words were barely audible as he spoke not long after eighth-seeded UCLA ousted the No. 1-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats from the NCAA Tournament 105-101 in double overtime.

        The Bearcats' surprising 31-4 season that had players talking about contending for the national championship came to a screeching halt Sunday afternoon at Mellon Arena.

        It is the fifth time in six years UC has been eliminated in the second round.

        By the time the media was allowed in the locker room, there were no tears. The UC players' biggest regret was that they would not be practicing today, then boarding an airplane for San Jose, Calif., site of the West Regional semifinals and final.

        “We love each other,” senior Steve Logan said. “Everyone's going through a grieving process right now.”

A tearful Leonard Stokes is consoled by Taron Barker. Stokes scored 39 points.
(Jeff Swinger photo)
| ZOOM |
        “We're like a family and now it's going to break up a little bit,” junior Leonard Stokes said. “It's tough. I can't explain the feeling. I just wanted to win for the seniors. I've got another year left of school. But most important, it was for those guys.”

        Stokes did all he could, scoring a career-high 39 points and tying a career-high with 10 rebounds.

        But in the end, it came down to this: UCLA got the loose balls, key offensive rebounds and made all the big plays in the extra periods.

        Early in the first overtime, Matt Barnes tried to throw a cross-court pass to Jason Kapono, but it hit the rim. Dan Gadzuric picked up the loose ball and scored. On UCLA's next possession, Billy Knight fired up a 3-point attempt that was an airball. The rebound became a loose ball in the paint that was picked up by Kapono, who scored and was fouled. He completed the three-point play to put UCLA ahead 85-81.

Leonard Stokes shoots over UCLA's T.J. Cummings.
(Jeff Swinger photo)
| ZOOM |
        In the second overtime, Barnes sent up an off-balance 3-point attempt with the shot clock running out. Knight was able to grab the rebound and score while being fouled. He finished the three-point play to make it UCLA 97, UC 93 with 1:27 left.

        “That has the tendency to deflate you,” UC coach Bob Huggins said. “You can't defend them any better than what we defended them and then the ball bounces to them and they end up getting a three-point play. I don't know why, but it happens.”

        “Those little plays kind of hurt,” UC senior Immanuel McElroy said.

        In the first half, the bounces and loose balls went UC's way. The Bearcats scored eight times off offensive rebounds in the first 20 minutes and led 47-37 at intermission. They were ahead by as many as 13 twice.

Donald Little and UCLA's Dan Gadzuric battle for the ball.
(Jeff Swinger photo)
| ZOOM |
        UC kept the Bruins at an arm's length for the first 11 minutes of the second half. It scored seven straight points and was ahead 65-54 after McElroy beat Dijon Thompson to a loose ball at midcourt, then went in for a dunk with 9:20 remaining.

        The next series hurt the Bearcats. Badly. Barnes hit a 3-point shot as the whistle sounded. The basket counted, and Donald Little was called for a foul under the basket. UCLA inbounded and got another 3 from Barnes.

        After Logan missed a 3-point attempt, Gadzuric got a dunk in transition. All of a sudden it was a three-point game with 8:02 to play.

        “I think our intensity dropped a lot in the second half,” Little said.

        “We're supposed to come out and just drill these guys but we let them attack us in the second half,” Logan said. “... You can't say we didn't have these guys. We had them. All we had to do was keep playing hard, playing defense and making shots. Which we didn't do. They got open looks, they got drives, they got calls. We usually play through that, and we didn't play through that today.”

UCLA's Jason Kapono shoots over Little.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
| ZOOM |
        Stokes tied the game with 34.8 seconds left in regulation, and UC's defense stopped UCLA from there, with Little blocking a Cedric Bozeman shot and Jason Maxiell forcing Barnes into a 3-point airball at the buzzer.

        The Bearcats' best chance at victory came at the end of the first overtime. Logan penetrated and threw a pass out to McElroy, who missed an open jump shot. Little missed a putback attempt. Stokes thought he was fouled grappling for the rebound, but there was no call. Time expired.

        “(The official) told me I didn't have control of the ball,” Stokes said. “If somebody tackles you, I didn't know you had to have the ball for it to be a foul.”

        Said McElroy: “I'm sad. I had a wide-open shot. I could've knocked it down and won the game. But I feel as though we left it out there. We can go out with our heads up and knowing that we did a great job. That's a great team we just played.”

Steve Logan's UC career ends as UCLA's Billy Knight celebrates.
(Jeff Swinger photo)
| ZOOM |
        UCLA, which has been criticized all season for its inconsistency, improved to 21-11 and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fifth time under sixth-year coach Steve Lavin. The Bruins will play 12th seed Missouri in the West Regional semifinals Thursday in San Jose, Calif.

        “Obviously it was just a great college basketball game, the situation where you hate to see either of these teams lose,” Lavin said. “My heart goes out to their staff and players, but I'm equally excited for our players.”

        Five UCLA players scored in double figures, led by Gadzuric's career-high 26 points to go with 13 rebounds. Logan added 18 points and seven assists, and McElroy scored 13 for UC.

        “We didn't back down; they didn't back down,” Logan said. “I think they were the toughest No. 8 seed I've seen in a long time, but .. we had chances to win the game and we just didn't find a way to. When UCLA is playing like that, I think they're tough to beat.”

Complete NCAA coverage
DAUGHERTY: A could-have-been ending
Leader emerges in Stokes
Huggins says 'never say never'
Logan's tough day doesn't diminish career
UC women meet old nemesis

UCLA (105)
                          fg    ft    rb             
                   min   m-a   m-a   o-t   a  pf   tp
M Barnes            36  7-19   1-2   2-8  11   4   17
J Kapono            32  7-15   2-2   2-5   1   4   19
D Gadzuric          45 13-20   0-1  6-13   0   2   26
B Knight            32   3-9   4-5   1-4   1   3   12
C Bozeman           39   4-9   0-0   4-5   4   3    8
D Thompson          21   3-6   4-4   0-4   2   3   10
A Patterson          8   0-2   2-2   0-0   0   0    2
R Walcott           22   1-6   2-2   0-1   1   0    4
R Hines              4   0-0   0-0   1-1   1   0    0
T Cummings          11   3-5   0-0   0-1   0   2    7

TOTALS             250 41-91 15-18 16-42  21  21  105

Percentages: FG-.451, FT-.833. 3-Point Goals:
8-36, .222 (M Barnes 2-8, J Kapono 3-8, B 
Knight 2-8, C Bozeman 0-2, D Thompson 0-2, R 
Walcott 0-5, T Cummings 1-3). Team Rebounds: 
4. Blocked Shots: 3 (T Cummings 2, M Barnes).
Turnovers: 9 (M Barnes 3, D Gadzuric, R 
Hines, J Kapono, B Knight, D Thompson, A 
Patterson). Steals: 6 (M Barnes 3, B Knight, 
R Walcott, D Thompson).


                          fg    ft    rb             
                   min   m-a   m-a   o-t   a  pf   tp
J Davis             26   3-4   2-3   3-4   2   3    9
I Mcelroy           35  5-13   3-4   2-8   2   4   13
D Little            43   4-6   1-2  7-12   0   4    9
S Logan             46  6-18   4-4   0-5   7   4   18
L Stokes            46 12-27 10-12  3-10   2   3   39
F Williams          18   1-6   0-0   0-0   0   0    3
T Barker             4   1-1   0-0   0-0   0   0    3
R Crawford           2   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0    0
B Grove              2   0-1   0-0   1-1   0   0    0
J Maxiell           28   3-4   1-1  4-10   0   2    7

TOTALS             250 35-80 21-26 20-50  13  20  101

Percentages: FG-.438, FT-.808. 3-Point Goals:
10-30, .333 (J Davis 1-1, I Mcelroy 0-3, S 
Logan 2-7, L Stokes 5-12, F Williams 1-6, T 
Barker 1-1). Team Rebounds: 2. Blocked Shots:
3 (D Little 2, J Maxiell). Turnovers: 17 (J 
Davis 4, D Little 4, S Logan 4, L Stokes 2, I
Mcelroy, T Barker, J Maxiell). Steals: 3 (I 
Mcelroy, L Stokes, J Maxiell).

UCLA                 37  43  10  15   -  105
CINCINNATI           47  33  10  11   -  101

Technical fouls: None. A: 0. 

Bearcats Stories
- UC loses to UCLA
DAUGHERTY: A could-have-been ending
Leader emerges in Stokes
Huggins says 'never say never'
Logan's tough day doesn't diminish career
UC women meet old nemesis

Xavier falls to Oklahoma
SULLIVAN: Appreciation may come later
West will return, teammates say
Sato makes big impression
One-sided crowd helps Oklahoma
Men's Sweet 16 pairings
Southern Illinois crashes the party
Prince helps Kentucky right ship
Indiana detects weakness in Duke
Portland 3, Mighty Ducks 2
Coming up this week
Dessens struggles early
Bowden favors Graves as closer
Tough roster decisions ahead
Royals 7, Reds 6
Hawkins to re-sign for 3 years
Winton Woods, Roger Bacon in home stretch
Ky. girls Sweet 16 schedule
Ohio boys state tournament schedule

Mail This Story (Click here) Send this story to a friend.

vs. South Florida (3-4)
• 1:00 p.m. Sat. Nov. 20
• Nippert Stadium
• Radio: WLW-AM 700


Paterno Won't Coach Penn St.-Temple Game

Paterno Won't Go to Penn St.-Temple Game

Spurrier Shadow Looms Large in Florida

No. 15 Rutgers Bracing for Historic Game

Hurricanes Stunned by Teammate's Murder

Big East logo
UC joins Big East
• A special section of complete coverage, as the UC Bearcats join one of the nation's elite sports conferences.


Terps Sign Gary Williams Through 2010-11

Bob Knight Approaches Winning Milestone

Buckeyes' Oden Content to Wait for NBA

Larranaga Enjoy Spoils of Final Four Run

Hansbrough Leads AP's All-America Team

AP's Preseason All-America Team

Gators Runaway Preseason No. 1 in Poll

Gators Return Starters to Defend Title

Texas Tech's Jackson Returns to Practice

Sutton Released From Hospital in Okla.


Paris Headlines AP's All-America Team

ACC New Powerhouse in Women's Basketball

Maryland Tops AP Women's Basketball Poll