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A Pick-Up Game for Cincinnati

March 18, 2000|From Staff and Wire Reports

Even without All-American center Kenyon Martin, Cincinnati had far too much firepower for overmatched North Carolina Wilmington.

No. 2-seeded Cincinnati, playing its first game without the injured Martin, had four players score in double figures in a 64-47 victory over No. 15 Wilmington in the first round of the NCAA South Regional at Nashville Friday.

Martin, on crutches because of a broken right leg suffered early in the Conference USA quarterfinal loss to Saint Louis, became emotional as the game began. He used a towel to wipe away tears as the teams lined up for the opening tap.

"It didn't hit me until they called the starting lineup and I wasn't part of it and I knew I wasn't going to play," said Martin, who sat at the end of the Cincinnati bench during the game. "Right before the game, it was hard. I got over it and I started cheering my team on."

Cincinnati Coach Bob Huggins no trouble replacing Martin's nearly 20 points and 10 rebounds a game as well as his defensive presence around the basket against Wilmington (18-13).

Pete Mickeal led Cincinnati (29-3) with 15 points. DerMarr Johnson had 13, Kenny Satterfield 12, and Ryan Fletcher, who replaced Martin in the starting lineup, had 10.

"We've got to get those points and rebounds we're missing by committee," Huggins said. "I think we got a little too perimeter-oriented, but we did what we wanted to do."

Cincinnati also had nine blocked shots.

Fletcher ended the first half with a resounding dunk that sent Cincinnati into the locker room with a 26-14 lead. It could have been more.

Cincinnati built its lead by scoring baskets in bunches--with runs of 11-2 and 10-2--then scored eight of the first 10 points of the second half.

By then, Martin was leading cheers and advising teammates as they came to the bench during timeouts. "I was telling guys what I thought they needed to do," he said. "Coach said I wasn't much help. I was telling them what to do and they weren't listening."

Tulsa 89, Nevada Las Vegas 62--The No. 7 Golden Hurricane (30-4) made its first six shots and the No. 10 Runnin' Rebels (23-8) made only six in the first half in a matchup of two of the nation's highest-scoring teams.

Tulsa, which has won first-round NCAA tournament games five of the last six years, never led by less than 10 points after the game's first six minutes. The Golden Hurricane used 15-2 run--highlighted by three consecutive three-point baskets--to take a 44-22 halftime lead and was ahead by as many as 33 points in the second half.

David Shelton had 21 points to lead four-double scorers for Tulsa, which was 11th in the nation at 81.2 points a game. Nevada Las Vegas, fifth in the nation at 83.2 points a game, shot 32.8%.

Tulsa plays Cincinnati in the second round Sunday. Cincinnati beat Nevada Las Vegas by 40 points in January.

Ohio State 87, Appalachian State 61--The No. 3 Buckeyes (23-6) scored on 11 of their first 12 possessions in quickly disposing of the No. 14 Mountaineers (23-9) of the Southern Conference.

Ohio State, which reached the Final Four last year, shot 58% and led by as many as 25 points.

Scoonie Penn made nine of 11 shots, including five of seven from three-point range, and had a game-high 23 points for Ohio State. Michael Redd, Penn's backcourt mate, had 21 points and sixth-man George Reese had 19.

Miami 75, Arkansas 71--The No. 6 Hurricanes (22-10) got five three-point baskets and 20 points from Johnny Hemsley, while Razorbacks (19-15) missed all nine of their shots from behind the arc in trailing by as many as 16 points in the first half.

Typical of the way the first half went was a sequence midway through it. When it seemed the shot clock would expire on Miami, Vernon Jennings heaved a shot almost from half court and that went it. On the ensuing possession, the 35-second clock ran out on Arkansas before it could get off a shot.

Miami plays Ohio State in the second round Sunday.

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