Sunday, February 20, 2000

Stuff 102, Richmond 88


Turner sparks Cincinnati offense in 3rd quarter

BY PETER HOLTERMANN
Enquirer contributor

        Few teams in professional basketball are known for defense, but Cincinnati Stuff coach Joby Wright thinks his squad might be one of them.

        Cincinnati holds teams to a league-best 91.6 points per game, and Wright said his team has won a lot of games this season because of its defense.

        Saturday night was a good example, as the Stuff (25-8) beat Richmond 102-88 win in front of a season-high 6,944 fans at the Firstar Center.

        The Rhythm (11-26) made just 37.6 percent of their shots and the Stuff forced 15 turnovers in the game.

        “Right now defense has to be more important because it's defense that win championships,” Wright said.

        The Stuff outrebounded the Rhythm 63-44. Tremain Fowlkes had 17 rebounds as the Stuff tied their season-high.

        “That's what we emphasize all the time: defense and hitting the glass,” Fowlkes said.

        After fighting through five ties, the Stuff broke the game open with a 14-3 run over the final seven minutes of the first half. Richmond's only points came from the free throw line, and the Stuff held a 52-41 edge at halftime.

        Wayne Turner scored eight points in the final three minutes of the third quarter to help Cincinnati put the game away. Turner hit a pair of 3-pointers and a fast-break layup and assisted an alley-oop to Melvin Levett as the Stuff took a 75-60 lead into the fourth quarter.

        “Wayne came out, and he was the aggressor,” Stuff guard Moo Moo Blakney said. “He was the spark plug.”

        Richmond never got closer than 11 in the final period.

        Five members of the Stuff scored in double figures. Alex Sanders scored in double digits for the 24th consecutive game and led the Stuff with 22 points. Sanders also had 10 rebounds.

        Blakney had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists in the game. Turner added 16 points, and Levett scored 15 in his first action in six games.

        The Rhythm were led by A.J. English's 24 points.

        BROWN SUSPENDED: Stuff guard Lenny Brown was suspended for Saturday's game for violating a team rule earlier in the week. He is expected to play tonight.

        RICHMOND (88) — Cartwright 6-15 4-8 16, English 8-18 4-8 24, Carruth 0-0 0-0 0, Harris 2-10 1-2 6, Morton 5-11 1-1 13, Miskari 1-3 1-1 3, Robinson 0-3 2-2 2, Young 1-6 0-0 2, Ward 3-10 0-0 7, Holmes 6-9 3-4 15. Totals: 32-85 16-26 88

        CINCINNATI (102) — Fowlkes 5-15 1-2 11, Edwards 2-13 2-2 9, Sanders 8-19 3-4 22, Turner 6-12 2-3 16, Blakney 6-9 2-2 17, Kingsbury 0-2 0-0 0, Levett 5-9 3-4 15, Taylor 0-1 3-4 3, James 0-0 0-0 0, Samake 3-9 1-1 7, Hickey 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 37-91 18-23 102

        Richmond ....... 26 15 19 28 ) 88 Cincinnati ....... 27 25 23 27 — 102

        Three-point field goals: Richmond 8-25 (English 4-9, Harris 1-3, Morton 2-6, Young 0-1, Ward 1-4, Holmes 0-2); Cincinnati 10-27 (Fowlkes 0-1, Edwards 0-5, Sanders 3-5, Turner 2-4, Kingsbury 0-2, Levett 2-5). Rebounds: Richmond 44 (Cartwright 10); Cincinnati 63 (Fowlkes 17). Assists: Richmond 19 (Morton 7); Cincinnati 20 (Blakney 6). Technical Fouls: None A-6,944

       



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