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Bearcats Devour Guard-depleted Pirates


CINCINNATI (AP) — Steve Logan and Field Williams scored 18 points apiece, and the nation's toughest defense added a new twist — a pesky full-court press — as No. 4 Cincinnati beat East Carolina 75-48 Tuesday night for its 20th straight win.

Cincinnati (20-1, 8-0 Conference USA) extended the country's longest winning streak by extending its defense. The Bearcats emerged from their preferred half-court, man-to-man setup early in the first half, forced a flurry of turnovers and pulled away.

The Pirates (7-13, 1-7) were a good guinea pig for the press. Before the game, coach Bill Herrion suspended starting point guard Travis Holcomb-Faye and shooting guard Brandon Hawkins for violating a team rule.

Both sat helplessly on the bench in their black warmup suits as Cincinnati went to the press and went on a 15-0 run early in the first half. East Carolina had six turnovers and missed its only shot during the 4-minute spurt. Logan scored seven points in the run, which put Cincinnati ahead 17-2.

Gabriel Mikulas led East Carolina with 12 points. Freshman guard Devin Boddie and senior Bryan Foxx started and combined for four points.

East Carolina had 18 turnovers as it lost its fourth in a row and seventh in eight games.

Cincinnati's streak has been built upon tight man-to-man defense the Bearcats have rarely used the press or half-court trap. Heading into the game, Cincinnati was giving up 56.3 points on average and holding opponents to 35.7 percent shooting the lowest figures in Division I.

The press worked well against an overmatched opponent Tuesday. The Pirates had trouble getting the ball past midcourt they got a pair of 10-second calls and never recovered from Cincinnati's 15-point run.

The Pirates cut the lead to eight points before Williams a 3-point specialist got into the game and made shots over East Carolina's zone defense. Williams, on a hot streak the last four games, made 4-of-6 3-point shots during one stretch as Cincinnati built the lead to 38-18 late in the half.

Williams, who slumped early in the season, is 15-of-24 on 3-pointers the last four games.

East Carolina never got closer than 18 points in the second half, as Cincinnati went back to the press from time to time. The Pirates, who have the worst-shooting team in the conference, made only 39.2 percent from the field.

ECU has until Saturday to regroup for a 7 p.m. home game against another league rival from the Midwest, Saint Louis. The Billikens defeated the Pirates 85-72 on January 19 at the Downtown St. Louis Savvis Center.

Box Score



Brown 3-9 0-0 6, Bing 2-9 4-6 9, Mikulas 5-7 2-3 12, Foxx 0-0 0-0 0, Boddie 2-9 0-1 4, Duckett 1-1 0-0 2, Badiane 3-4 0-0 6, Moore 4-13 0-0 9, Twitty 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-52 6-10 48.


Davis 6-8 0-0 12, McElroy 3-5 1-4 7, Little 2-6 0-2 4, Stokes 5-10 0-2 10, Logan 7-14 0-0 18, Williams 6-14 0-0 18, Meeker 0-1 0-0 0, Lucas 0-1 0-0 0, Barker 0-1 0-0 0, Flowers 1-2 2-2 4, Crawford 0-0 0-0 0, Hubbard 0-1 0-0 0, Grove 1-1 0-0 2, Maxiell 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 31-67 3-10 75.

Halftime: Cincinnati 40, East Carolina 22.

3-Point Goals:
East Carolina: 2-9 (Bing 1-1, Moore 1-7, Brown 0-1)
Cincinnati: 10-27 (Williams 6-12, Logan 4-10, Meeker 0-1, Barker 0-1, Hubbard 0-1, Davis 0-1, Stokes 0-1).

Rebounds: East Carolina 33 (Bing 10); Cincinnati 39 (Davis, Little, Stokes, Flowers 6)

Assists: East Carolina 9 (Brown 3), Cincinnati 22 (Logan 9).

Total Fouls: East Carolina 14, Cincinnati 13.

Fouled Out: Badiane

Attendance: 12,324.

02/23/2007 10:59:32 AM

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