Sunday, March 9, 2003

Bearcats' crown slips away


UC notebook: Players watch Golden Eagles and their fans claim C-USA title

By Bill Koch
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MILWAUKEE - The University of Cincinnati Bearcats have known for several weeks that they would not repeat for the eighth straight time as Conference USA champions.

But it really hit home Saturday after their 70-61 loss to Marquette clinched the regular-season championship for the Golden Eagles.

If that wasn't bad enough, three UC players - senior Leonard Stokes, junior Tony Bobbitt and freshman Armein Kirkland - had to walk back onto the Bradley Center floor after the game on the way to the interview room in the midst of the Marquette celebration.

"It was disappointing to have it happen in my last go-around," Stokes said. "But there's nothing we can do about it now. Congratulations to them. They played well the whole season."

Stokes shook hands with several Marquette fans as he made his way through the crowd that had swarmed onto the floor.

Kirkland could only wonder what it felt like for Stokes.

"It's my freshman year, so I'm not used to winning," Kirkland said. "But for the rest of the team it really is a shock. It's a surprise. They've never had to experience this before."

HOT START: UC got off to a great start against the Golden Eagles, sprinting to 5-0 and 20-11 leads, largely on the strength of its 3-point shooting.

The Bearcats knocked down four treys in the first six minutes.

"We just wanted to go out and compete and give it all we've got," Bobbitt said. "The last time in Cincinnati, we didn't come out with the intensity to match their intensity. Lenny Stokes said, 'Look, let's just go out and give it everything that we've got.' "

UC's early fire subsided when Marquette made a run to tie the score at 23, but the Bearcats responded to take a four-point halftime lead.

They seemed to lose some of that intensity, though, at the start of the second half.

"I didn't think we came out with a whole lot of energy at the start of the second half," said UC coach Bob Huggins.

YEOMAN'S EFFORT: UC forward Jason Maxiell had eight rebounds and scored eight points but was limited by foul trouble to 27 minutes.

"We don't have the ability to throw it close and score," Huggins said. "They have three guys they can throw it close to and score. We have none. Well, we have Max if he ever can stay in the game. I thought he was aggressive and assertive today and rebounded the ball."

NOTES: Junior center Rod Flowers remains on indefinite suspension. He did not make the trip. ... Marquette has won five of its last seven meetings against UC. ...The crowd of 18,790 was the second-largest for a regular-season college game in Wisconsin history.




XAVIER
No. 11 XU 96, Temple 65
Daugherty: Good as it gets for Xavier
Matta responds to calls for 'Rhino'
Women: Rhode Island 52, Xavier 48

UC BEARCATS
Marquette 70, UC 61
Bearcats' crown slips away
Women: Cincinnati 81, DePaul 64

OTHER BASKETBALL
No. 2 UK 69, No. 3 Florida 67
Simply a Tubby masterpiece
Equipment guy? Mr. Wildcat a cultural icon
Marshall 58, Miami 51
Mich. State 72, Ohio St. 58
Texas holds off Oklahoma
How Top 25 fared, scores
NKU lands GLVC title, Div. II tourney bid
Area players have Purdue in gear
Twelve Villanova players suspended
Stone sits as NCAA again has questions
Jordan to make final Garden appearance
Rookie Williams can't keep quiet

REDS / MLB
Batting order starting to take shape for Reds
Reds 8, Red Sox 8
Kearns latest sidelined by injury
Reds Q&A
Sore elbow made restless spectator of Hudson
Piniella, Baker left their mark
Twins lose Milton for 4-6 months
Applicants want to feed fans

BENGALS / NFL
Lewis accentuates the positive
FB Luchey bolts for Packers
Bengals Q & A
Bears make offer to Slash

PREP SPORTS
Elder succumbs to confident Springboro in district championship
3-pointers save day for Crusaders
Trojans clinch 1st state tourney berth
Fookes earns 400th victory as Rebels win
Campbell Co. clinches first district title since '91
Princeton is pushed, but gains regionals
Hamilton drops St. X in wild one
Centerville dashes Warriors' hopes
Highlands, Dixie Heights unhappy with region draws
Groeschen: Preps Insider
Schmidt: Ky. Preps Insider
Prep playoffs results, schedules

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
OSU spring game tickets go on sale Monday

GOLF
Hoch shares lead with Tway at Doral
Duval diagnosed with vertigo
Woods, Els formidable team
Burk receives award, maintains campaign against Augusta

TRISTATE SPOTLIGHT
Ducks edge Grizzlies 4-3
Seven Four Seven takes Wintergreen
Enquirer Page Two power rankings

ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE
Sports, politics a combustible mix

PLAN YOUR DAY
This weekend's sports on TV, radio

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

FOOTBALL

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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

THE BIG EAST
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.

MEN'S BASKETBALL

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.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Paris Headlines AP's All-America Team

ACC New Powerhouse in Women's Basketball

Maryland Tops AP Women's Basketball Poll