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NCAA COLLEGE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT | AT NASHVILLE

Cincinnati Comes Up Short

March 20, 2000|From Associated Press

This time, there was nothing Kenyon Martin could do.

The Cincinnati All-American center sat at the end of the bench, crutches beside him on the floor. His leg was broken, and so was the Bearcats' season.

"It's hard when you can't help," he said Sunday after No. 2-seeded Cincinnati was beaten by No. 7 Tulsa, 69-61, in the second round of the NCAA South Regional. "It is a helpless feeling. It's very tough in this room right now. It's something that can't be explained in words."

Cincinnati (29-4) couldn't stop Eric Coley, and ultimately couldn't keep Tulsa (31-4) from moving on to play Miami in the round of 16.

Coley had 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Tulsa went on a 14-0 run over four minutes late in the second half to wipe out a five-point deficit.

Cincinnati Coach Bob Huggins said having Martin would have made a big difference.

"If Ken's playing, he's guarding Coley and he gets 16 and 16," he said. "It's certainly not an alibi or an excuse. We've still got good enough players to win. Tulsa did a good job."

Two of Cincinnati's seniors tried to make up for Martin. Pete Mickeal, who fouled out, had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Ryan Fletcher, starting in Martin's place, had 13 points, including five in a row that put Cincinnati in front, 50-45, after the Bearcats wiped out a16-point Tulsa lead.

But the Golden Hurricane showed great resolve, going on a run that was touched off by Dante Swanson's three-point basket, and the Bearcats never recovered.

Coley was dominant in setting a career-high rebound total.

"It seemed like I was in the right place at the right time," he said. "I was just attacking the boards, trying to get my hands on every ball."

Guard Greg Harrington, who had three early fouls and sat most of the first half, returned to the game and energized Tulsa's run, beating Cincinnati's half-court trap time after timeand converting some easy shots.

"They started solving it and we got a little tired," Huggins said. "We had guys not used to playing that amount of minutes."

*

Miami 75, Ohio State 62--Johnny Hemsley scored 24 points as the No. 6-seeded Hurricanes (23-10) advanced to the round of 16 for the first time. The loss spoiled the hopes of the No. 3-seeded Buckeyes (23-8) for a return trip to the Final Four.

"Once again we are swimming in uncharted waters," said Miami Coach Leonard Hamilton, whose team was eliminated in the second round last year in only the third NCAA tournament appearance ever by the school. "It feels kind of good. Each time we win a game, each time we take another step forward, we're making history for our program."

The smaller Hurricanes scrapped their way to a 41-26 rebounding advantage and outshot the Buckeyes, 51% to 36%.

Hemsley's back-to-back three-point baskets gave the Hurricanes a 56-51 lead with 6:16 left.

Hemsley tried another three-point shot on the next possession to beat the shot clock, and Mario Bland snared the long rebound. He passed to Elton Tyler, who made a 15-footer to make it 58-51. Tyler finished with 20 points.

Scoonie Penn led the Buckeyes with 19 points, eight of them in a 90-second span late in the game after the Hurricanes had taken a 13-point lead. Michael Redd had 13 points before fouling out with 4:17 to play.

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