Cincinnati answers second-round doubts

Bearcats rip Kent State, 66-43, advance to Sweet 16

NCAA Tournament

March 18, 2001|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

SAN DIEGO -- By the time Friday's news conference was over, the Cincinnati men's basketball team had had enough of the chiding over its past failures in the NCAA tournament.

Four times the Bearcats had earned top-three seeds in the NCAAs, and four times they had been upset in the second round. This wouldn't happen against Kent State.

Forward Jamaal Davis hit eight of nine shots for 16 points to go with 10 rebounds as No. 5 seed Cincinnati (25-9) cruised into next week's West Regional semifinals in Anaheim, Calif., with a 66-43 win over the upstart Golden Flashes (24-10).

The Bearcats will play top-seeded Stanford in their Sweet 16 matchup on Thursday night.

Kent State, a No. 13 seed that upset Indiana on Thursday, shot 27 percent and allowed Cincinnati to make 54 percent of its field-goal attempts for the game, which ended with a 16-5 Bearcats run.

"We got tired of everyone saying that we couldn't make it past the second round," said Cincinnati guard Steve Logan, who finished with 13 points and six rebounds, while backcourt mate Kenny Satterfield finished with 10 points and seven assists. "It was real personal and emotional; I wanted this one bad."

The Ohio teams shared a reputation for taking care of the basketball, Cincinnati ranked fourth nationally for fewest turnovers; Kent State was third. Cincinnati didn't hold up its end, but it doesn't matter when you hold your opposition to 17 percent shooting, as the Bearcats did for the first 18:30 of the first half.

So, despite making nine first-half turnovers -- nearly the team's game average -- and forcing only four, Cincinnati was in control from the early going and led 30-22 at the half. The team's 52 percent shooting in the first half had a lot to do with this.

Logan, the Conference USA Most Valuable Player, also played a part, scoring all 10 of his first-half points over the last 5:30. His jumper with 1:22 left gave the Bearcats a 30-20 lead.

The Golden Flashes were overwhelmed by the physical play of Cincinnati, jostled both on the perimeter and in the paint.

Trevor Huffman and Andrew Mitchell, the pair Kent State hoped could counter Logan and Satterfield, found out that they weren't going up against the guard tandem they met while beating Indiana, Tom Coverdale and Dane Fife. Huffman and Mitchell combined to miss nine of 11 shots in the first half, Huffman's lone success coming on a junky fadeaway three-pointer early in the first half.

"I just wanted to keep him in front of me," said Satterfield, who guarded Huffman. "I just kept my arms up and made every shot tough."

Offensively, instead of Logan and Satterfield carrying the load, Davis led the way, tying his career high with 16 points; his 10 rebounds were a career high.

"Coach looked at me and told me I needed a big game today and I responded," said Davis, who was 8-for-9 shooting.

The Golden Flashes -- who were led by Demetric Shaw's 12 points -- never really threatened in the second half, remaining in the game because the Bearcats went nearly six minutes without a basket.

That ended when Logan went hard to the basket and was fouled on a shot he made; the three-point play gave Cincinnati a 50-37 lead, and the team cruised from there.

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