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News Nuggets, 01.16.05
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Louisville overcomes big deficit to deflate Bearcats


01.15.05: Bearcats hope to shake off ECU hangover against Cards ... No. 22 Marquette seeks cure versus South Florida ... More...
01.14.05: NCAA poised to wield big academic hammer ... Gruden, Turner to coach Senior Bowl squads ... More...
01.13.05: ECU schedules early peeks at its 'Field of Dreams' ... NCAA baseball considers warm- weather shift ... Coaching convention tackles secret poll ballots ... More...
01.12.05: Reconfigured C-USA TV arrangement a mixed bag ... Former ECU assistant lands top job at TSU ... Cards deal record-shattering rout to Southern Miss ... More...
01.11.05: 12th football game gets preliminary nod ... Pirate Radio plans T-shirt promotion for Cincy game ... Associated Press basketball poll ... More...
01.10.05: More TV exposure announced for 49ers ... Cincy declares Laurinburg freshman ineligible ... Memphis loosens grip on seating areas ... More...
01.09.05: Tigers' Means heads west to Shrine Bowl ... Baseball America anoints Tulane No. 1 ... More...
01.08.05: CEO's of BCS schools block consideration of playoff ... List of NCAA Division I-A coaching changes ... More...
01.07.05: Downtrodden member of historic Chaminade team slain ... Bowl Season Wrap-up: Results and Payouts ... More...
01.06.05: Louisville losing battering ram Shelton to NFL draft ... TV ratings nosedive for BCS title matchup ... Injured Hodge set to return to Wolfpack's lineup ... More...
01.05.05: BCS ponders establishment of selection committee ... Trojans trample Sooners en route to title ... Final Associated Press and Coaches polls ... More...
01.04.05: Petrino sets out to mend fences at Louisville ... Auburn holds off Tech, turns attention to voters ... More...
01.03.05: Tech sack artist looks to Baghdad for inspiration ... Meyer bids adieu as Utah relishes perfection ... More...
01.02.05: Utah domination of Pitt exposes BCS ... Petrino backpedals as LSU zeroes in on Miles ... More...
01.01.05: Cards hang on in Liberty Bowl shootout with Broncos ... Utes poised to cap off perfect season in style ... More...
12.31.04: Offensive juggernauts collide in Liberty Bowl ... Tire Bowl goes flat for North Carolina ... More...

CINCINNATI — Taquan Dean took No. 19 Louisville on quite a ride, then got one himself.

Dean scored 25 points on Saturday, leading the Cardinals' furious comeback from a 17-point deficit to a 69-66 victory over No. 18 Cincinnati in one of the most remarkable games in the long-standing rivalry.

It was the second straight game in which the Bearcats squandered a big lead. Cincinnati led East Carolina by 20 points on Wednesday night but had to regroup late to hold off the Pirates 84-78.

After Jihad Muhammad's long 3-point attempt smacked harmlessly off the backboard to end the game, Dean climbed onto the shoulders of forward Ellis Myles and rode off the court, his mouth open in amazement.

``I knew my teammates would step it up eventually,'' said Dean, who was 7-of-13 from behind the arc. ``We've been in that situation before. We just looked at each other and said, 'We're going to win this game.' We didn't look at each other once and look down.''

The Cardinals (14-3, 3-1 Conference USA) got shoved around and trailed by 17 points in the first half, rattled by Cincinnati's unrelenting man-to-man defense. Louisville found its composure, asserted itself inside and showed more poise when it mattered.

``The toughest part is we had the lead and weren't able to sustain it,'' said James White, who had 15 points for Cincinnati. ``Anytime we get a team down like that, we've got to finish them off.''

There were three ties in the final 4 minutes before freshman Juan Palacios' tip-in put Louisville ahead to stay 67-65. Cincinnati's Jason Maxiell missed the first of his two free throws with 45 seconds left.

Louisville then ran down the shot clock, and Francisco Garcia passed out of a double team to Larry O'Bannon, who sneaked unguarded under the basket for the deciding layup with 11 seconds to play.

``It was just a defensive breakdown,'' said Nick Williams, who led Cincinnati with 18 points. ``Somebody lost their man. It shouldn't have happened. But the game shouldn't have come down to that.''

Garcia was the main target of Cincinnati's defense, and went only 2-of-13 from the field with seven points. He finished with six assists, including the pass that decided the game.

``Francisco made an unbelievable pass on the backdoor play,'' Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. ``That shows how special he is.''

After a timeout, Cincinnati (14-2, 3-1) couldn't do better than Muhammad's long, desperation shot that was well off the mark and broke the rivals' recent pattern. The home team had won the last seven games in their series.

Myles, the Cardinals' leading rebounder, had only six rebounds and five points, twice shot air balls on free throws, and had to play tentatively after picking up his fourth foul with 8:18 to play. It barely slowed the Cardinals, who had 11 more rebounds in the second half out of their zone defense.

O'Bannon added 18 points for Louisville, which won despite shooting a season-low 37.5 percent from the field.

The Bearcats' biggest problems came from the free throw line, where they went only 17-of-30. Maxiell, a 64 percent shooter from the line, was only 7-of-13.

``It's demoralizing,'' Bearcats coach Bob Huggins said. ``Down the stretch we got the ball where we wanted it to go, and we were 1-of-4 from the foul line. It de-energizes you.''

Cincinnati had the energy flowing early.

Playing in front of their biggest home crowd of the season — there hadn't been a sellout in the 13,176-seat arena until Saturday — the Bearcats set a bump-and-grind tone that knocked the conference's most accurate shooters off their mark.

The Bearcats ran off to a 10-0 lead, surprising the Cardinals by pushing the pace. Muhammad hit a 3 and a fastbreak layoff after stripping Myles of the ball.

In the opening minutes, the officials repeatedly stopped the game to calm it down.

Cincinnati's Eric Hicks swung his elbows emphatically after a rebound and smacked Myles in the chest, driving him backward. Referee Ed Hightower stopped play at one point to warn Myles and Hicks about shoving and trash talking.

The physical play got the desired result: Louisville became tentative and missed 13 of its first 15 shots. The Cardinals' shooters lead the conference at 49.1 percent.

White's 3-pointer gave Cincinnati its biggest lead, 25-8. Louisville never got closer than 10 points before the break.

Diener leads Marquette comeback over USF

MILWAUKEE — Travis Diener made another big play with the game on the line.

The Marquette star set up Todd Townsend's winning three-point play with 5 seconds to play with a nifty bounce pass in the No. 22 Golden Eagles' 66-64 victory over South Florida on Saturday night.

Diener led the scoring for Marquette (14-2, 2-1 Conference USA) with 24 points.

``I made the bounce pass to Todd and he made the big play,'' Diener said. ``Give Todd all the credit, he made the play we needed to win the game.''

Terrance Leather led South Florida (8-6, 1-2) with 25 points.

None of USF's three league games have been decided by more than two points. The Bulls themselves made up a big deficit to pick up their conference win at East Carolina 72-71 on Jan. 5.

Marquette, down by 11 at the half, took the lead for the first time on Diener's 3-point that made it 60-59 with 4:11 left.

Leather tied it at 62 with 2:42 left, but he missed two free throws with the score still knotted. A free throw by Dameon Mason gave Marquette the lead, but Marlyn Bryant made a layup to give South Florida a 64-63 advantage with 27 seconds left.

That set the stage for Townsend, who took a strong pass from Diener before going up for a layup and getting fouled.

``We saw something in the last 2 minutes and we felt it was there,'' Marquette coach Tom Crean said. ``Travis did a great job splitting it and finding what was there.''

Townsend and Steve Novak scored 10 points each for the Golden Eagles, who had three starters benched to start the second half.

``Travis is always the first option,'' Townsend said. ``Travis always penetrates. On the play before that, I was wide open, too, and I missed the layup. Travis had the confidence in me to throw it into me again and I was able to finish.

``They saw Travis penetrate, so they stepped out on him. But Travis is so unselfish that he gave it to me and this time I was able to finish.''

Marquette rebounded from a 78-68 loss at Memphis on Thursday night.

``There's no easy games in Conference USA,'' Townsend said.

``It could have gone either way,'' coach Robert McCallum said. ``I thought we did so many things right, more than in any game this year.

``Unfortunately, Marquette made more plays at the end than we did.''

News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from Associated Press and other sources. Copyright 2005 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:20 PM


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