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Thursday, February 17, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 97

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No. 1 Cincinnati strolls in tonight

By Jason Caesar Consolacion
Daily Cougar Staff

For the opposition, it's just another day at the gym.

For the home team, it's the biggest game of the season.


Kenyon Martin leads No. 1 Cincinnati into the sold-out Hofheinz Pavilion, averaging 18 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. The Bearcats are on a 15 game winning streak.

Cougar File Photo

The differences between the No. 1 Cincinnati Bearcats and the Houston Cougars are plenty, but one thing they will share is the Guy V. Lewis Court at Hofheinz Pavilion for tonight's 8 p.m. nationally televised game.

"We've got our work cut out for us, needless to say," UH head basketball coach Clyde Drexler said. "It's a tough part of the season for us, and we've got Cincinnati coming in."

How tough is it for the 8-15 Cougars right now? Well, Drexler will lead his group into tonight's game on a five-game losing streak that dates back to Jan. 26. Houston hasn't won a game since it beat Memphis 98-89 on Jan. 22.

On the other side, the 23-1 Bearcats are riding a 15 game winning streak into Hofheinz. They have beaten their opponents by an average of 19.4 points per game (including a 40-point blowout over the University of Nevada-Las Vegas), and they've won all 10 of their conference games.

Nevertheless, Drexler does not feel any added pressure about playing host to the powerhouse of Conference USA.

"I think every game is winnable," Drexler said. "We've just got to come out and play like it. If we play with some heart and some hustle, anything can happen. (The Bearcats) are very good, and they know they're good. It's not going to be easy, but if we're ready to fight, good things can happen."

Kenyon Martin leads the Cincinnati squad (11-0 in C-USA) in scoring with 18 points per game. He's also the team's leading rebounder, grabbing 9.6 boards per contest.

Pete Mickeal and DerMarr Johnson round up the Bearcat attack, averaging 13.7 and 12.5 points per game, respectively. Point guard Kenny Satterfield is dishing out 5.4 assists per game, and fellow point Steve Logan is shooting 46 percent from behind the three-point line.

"We've got to defend," Drexler said. "That's the key to the game -- defense. Cincinnati is big inside, so our big guys have a lot of work."

These "big guys" are the front court of senior Kenny Younger and freshman George Williams. Younger is averaging 14 points per game and grabbing 7.6 rebounds while Williams is putting up 14.3 points and snatching 8.2 boards per contest.

"We're concentrating on our defensive strategy (in practice). Also, we've got to be precise and efficient in our execution. We have to make crisp passes. There's not much room for error (tonight)."

Tonight's contest is sold out, but the game will be televised nationally on ESPN.
 

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