Monday, January 14, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 71


 
 









 
Cougars can't keep up with No. 10 Bearcats

By Jake McKim
Daily Cougar Staff

As UH forward Jeremee "Slim" McGuire checked into Saturday's game against Cincinnati, teammate Andre Owens yelled, "Slim, I know you
ain't scared to play." This statement was as much a jab at the other Cougars as it was an expression of belief in McGuire's abilities.

Right from the tipoff, the undersized, athletically challenged Cougars (7-7 overall, 1-2 Conference USA) appeared intimidated and not ready to
handle the confident, highly-skilled Bearcats (15-1, 3-0 C-USA), who came into the game ranked tenth in the nation and have now won an
NCAA-leading 15 games in a row. 

By game's end the scoreboard read 83-62 and the outcome had never truly been in doubt. The Bearcats jumped out to a 6-0 lead two minutes
and 10 seconds into the game, and the Cougars never recovered from the early onslaught.

"We just played against one of the best teams in the country," UH head coach Ray McCallum said.

"I know they came in here ranked 10th. I think they're top five the way they defend, the way they rebound -- they're truly at another level,"
McCallum said. "They came into our building and did what they had to do. They really locked down defensively, pounded the glass and shot
the ball extremely well."

In the first half Leonard Stokes and Jamaal Davis led the attack for Cincinnati, scoring 13 and 10 points respectively and feeding off the many
mistakes the Cougars made. By halftime it was already ugly, 45-24, but the 6,379 in attendance, who made up the biggest Hofheinz crowd of
the season, seemed still to hold out slight hope for a Cougar comeback.

But Cincinnati jumped out to another quick start in the second half and the Cougars spent the rest of the contest simply trying to make the loss
respectable.

The Bearcats used their superior depth to wear down the undermanned Cougars and never seemed to break a sweat. Stokes finished the
game as the leading scorer with 19 points and six rebounds. Steve Logan added 16 points and five assists and Davis tallied 15 points and five
rebounds.

Cincinnati center Donald Little also turned in an impressive performance to finish with 10 points and 10 rebounds and played a large role in
holding UH center Patrick Okafor to nine points on the game.

After the game, Cincinnati players were understandably optimistic about their chances to win the national championship.

"We're trying to win it," Logan said. "We're not trying to go to the Final Four and lose a game. We're trying to win it all. Everybody believes in
each other and that's what we're trying to accomplish."

For the Cougars, Louis Truscott (12 points, seven boards) and McGuire (10 points) had commendable games with both players putting forth
tremendous energy and effort. Dominic Smith also finished with 10 points in the losing effort.

It was a solid stand by the Bearcats, quite possibly the best team in the country, and one that McCallum didn't want his players to hang their
heads about.

"I told our players that we're not a bad basketball team," McCallum said. "We played a great team today that's on a whole other level that we
weren't able to reach today, quite honestly."
 
 
 
 
 

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