Friday, January 29, 1999

Martin, Horton key UC

The Cincinnati Enquirer

UC's Michael Horton exults after sinking two free throws at the end.
(Michael Snyder photo)
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        One Bearcat contributed quietly and subtly. The other did so to much fanfare.

        Together, point guard Michael Horton and center Kenyon Martin played significant roles as the University of Cincinnati outlasted Xavier, 87-77, in Thursday night's Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout at the Shoemaker Center.

        Horton was the subtle one, equaling a season high with 10 points and amassing eight assists, only two short of his season best. Perhaps more importantly, he committed only one turnover in the first half and finished with four — contrasting nicely with last season's Shootout, when he was guilty of five turnovers.

        Indeed, Horton exorcised the demons from the previous game against Xavier, when he was 1-for-6 from the floor.

        “They abused me, beat me up, called me names, treated me like I was nobody,” Horton said of last season's Shootout.

Horton steals from Lenny Brown
(Ernest Coleman photo)
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        Horton also played a key role on defense. XU senior guard Lenny Brown >had scored 21 points in the game's first 31 minutes, but Horton shut him out the rest of the way.

        “Lenny Brown might have set a Shoemaker Center scoring record if we hadn't put Mike on him,” coach Bob Huggins said.

        Martin was more noticeable. Besides scoring eight points and grabbing a team-high eight rebounds, he blocked six shots, including five in the first half, to provide ESPN with enough highlights to pre-empt Super Bowl XXXIII buildup.

        On one of Martin's first rejections, he swatted Lloyd Price's shot so forcefully that it went out of bounds at the opposite baseline.

        “That was to set the tone,” Martin said, “to let them know I'm going to be in there and I'm not going anywhere.”

Kenyon Martin celebrates.
(AP photo)
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        Martin had to go to the bench for a lot longer than he wanted after committing his fourth foul with 11 minutes and 18 seconds left in the game.

        “My idea was to come in and play 40 (minutes). It didn't work that way,” Martin said. “But when I was in there, I was productive.”

        Later in the half, another of Martin's blocks generated Melvin Levett's layin that gave the Bearcats a 27-26 lead with 5:03 left in the half — their first edge in more than 12 minutes — and concluded a 7-0 UC streak. Martin's final block of the half led to a 35-second violation against Xavier.

        This was nothing new for Martin, who entered the game leading Conference USA in blocks (2.63 per outing) and hiked his school record to (add to 158).

        “Kenyon is one of those rare people who can have an unbelievable effect on a game without scoring,” Huggins said. “He can not score a point and still be the best player on the floor.”

        • GAME STORY
Box score
Shootout best game in town
Martin, Horton key UC
Guards kept XU kicking
Logan large for UC
ESPN barely gets the tip of Shootout

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shootout logo
Cincinnati 87,
Xavier 77


• Points: Levett 23, Logan 17
• Rebounds: Martin 8, Levett 7
• Blocks: Martin 6
• Steals: Horton, Mickeal, Tate 2
• Assists: Horton 8

• Points: Lumpkin 25, Brown 21
• Rebounds: Posey 12
• Blocks: Price 2
• Steals: Price 4
• Assists: Price 4

Game coverage
Box score
Download photos for wallpaper
Shootout best game in town
Martin, Horton key UC
Guards kept XU kicking
Logan large for UC
Notebook: Scalpers get rich
ESPN barely gets the tip of Shootout

Season's coverage
Nice job, UC; now play UAB
Dayton next for XU