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News Nuggets, 02.12.05
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Embarrassed Cards in recovery mode as USF arrives


02.11.05: $23 million baseball palace in the works at LSU ... Cincinnati crushes city rival's bid for another upset ... More...
02.10.05: Memphis hands Cards worst loss of Pitino era ... Committee recommends green light for instant replay ... More...
02.09.05: Coach gets to keep bribe after recruiting scandal conviction ... Cards put streak on the line against Memphis ... More...
02.08.05: Associated Press college basketball poll ... Krzyzewski ready to rumble after dizzy spell ... Charlotte's Basden nabs weekly award ... More...
02.07.05: Conference USA scoreboard, standings & schedule ... Scelfo joins Scelfo and Scelfo at Tulane ... More...
02.06.05: Charlotte bids stinging farewell to Bearcats ... No. 9 Louisville escapes close call at UAB ... Omaha secures CWS through end of decade ... More...
02.05.05: BCS bowl payouts to start escalating in 2006 ... NCAA baseball calendar changes still in limbo ... Doherty eager for opportunity to coach again ... More...
02.04.05: Talks underway about revamped BCS bowl deals ... No more potty language, admonishes coach ... More...
02.03.05: 'Bama booster convicted in Means recruiting scandal ... Bug rolling through Tar Heel hoops roster ... Cards gain control of first place from Bearcats ... More...
02.02.05: C-USA lead at stake as Cincinnati, Louisville collide ... UNC-Chapel Hill assistant caught up in Memphis trial ... Houston-Oregon football game set for national TV ... More...
02.01.05: Big week culminates in recognition for Badiane ... Means recruiting scandal trial draws in Scherer ... Associated Press basketball poll ... More...

Louisville looks to recover from its worst home loss in nearly four years when it hosts Conference USA rival South Florida on Saturday.

The ninth-ranked Cardinals (20-4, 8-2) struggled on both ends of the court in an 85-68 defeat to Memphis on Wednesday, ending a nine-game winning streak.

The Cardinals, who lead the nation with a 22.9-point margin of victory, suffered their worst defeat at Freedom Hall since a 74-57 setback to Alabama-Birmingham on Feb. 21, 2001.

The Cardinals rank fifth in the nation with 84.8 points per game, but struggled to make their shots and finished with a season-low 32.8 percent shooting Wednesday.

The Louisville defense was of greater concern to coach Rick Pitino. The Cardinals rank fourth in the nation by allowing opponents to shoot just 37.3 percent from the field.

But they let the Tigers shoot 51 percent — a season high by an opponent — and were outrebounded 41-30.

A frustrated Pitino kept his players away from the media afterward.

``I don't think they are worthy of speaking to you,'' he said. ``Everything that could go wrong went wrong. The offense are things that we can cure. We have to get back to playing great defense. We've been relying on making shots and when a night comes like tonight and it's not there. We have to get back to basics defensively.''

Taquan Dean and Ellis Myles each scored 17 points for Louisville, which had a 10-game home winning streak snapped. Leading scorer Francisco Garcia went just 1-for-8 and finished with seven points for the Cardinals, who are clinging to a half-game lead atop the conference.

Garcia, a 6-foot-7 junior forward, averages 16.3 points to lead all five starters in double figures. Ellis averages a team-high nine rebounds for Louisville, which is 8-1 at home this season.

South Florida (10-11, 3-7) hopes leading scorer Terrence Leather is feeling better.

Hampered by flu-like symptoms, the 6-foot-9 senior forward scored just three points in a 55-47 loss to Saint Louis on Wednesday. Leather paces the Bulls with 17.6 points per game, third-best in the conference.

Brian Swift scored 21 points for the Bulls, who shot just 29.4 percent Wednesday. Swift, a 5-10 senior guard, averages 15.9 points and a team-high 5.5 assists — second-best in C-USA.

Leather averages a team-leading 8.5 rebounds for South Florida, which has split four conference road games.

Louisville leads the all-time series 16-3, and has won five of the last six meetings.

Bearcats face must-win matchup at DePaul

Cincinnati entered its annual crosstown matchup with Xavier hoping to gain some confidence, but left feeling even more frustrated.

The 21st-ranked Bearcats look to snap a two-game Conference USA losing streak as they visit DePaul on Saturday.

The Bearcats (18-5, 6-3) fell 77-70 at No. 9 Louisville on Feb. 2, and 91-90 at Charlotte last Saturday. They beat the Musketeers 65-54 on Thursday, but left the game wondering why they hadn't won by more.

``We won, but it wasn't like we wanted to,'' Bearcats forward Armein Kirkland said.

Cincinnati, which led by only six at halftime, managed to build a 20-point lead in the second half before allowing Xavier to cut the lead in half.

``We just stopped playing in the last 10 minutes,'' Kirkland said. ``Even though we won the game, I feel like we got beat.''

Xavier had three injured post players, including leading scorer and rebounder Brian Thornton, and played three freshmen at one point during the first half. The Bearcats, who entered the game holding opponents to a nation-leading 36.2 percent shooting from the field, used a strong man-to-man defense to limit Xavier to 33.3 percent.

However, Cincinnati allowed Xavier to grab too many rebounds over the final 10 minutes.

``We got up 20 and we let up our guard,'' said forward Eric Hicks, who led the Bearcats with 16 points and 12 rebounds. ``They got four or five rebounds one time. My job is to make sure that doesn't happen.''

Forward Jason Maxiell added 15 points and three blocks for Cincinnati, which suffered its other conference loss this season in its first meeting with Louisville on Jan. 15. The Bearcats blew a 17-point lead in that defeat.

``If we do this against DePaul, we're not going to win,'' Hicks said Thursday.

In each of their last three defeats, including a 74-70 loss to No. 6 Wake Forest on Jan. 22, the Bearcats have had a chance to win or tie at the end of the game.

``We've got to do a better job of finishing games,'' coach Bob Huggins said after the Xavier game. ``That was another game we didn't finish. We didn't guard and we didn't rebound as hard.''

Cincinnati, which has won eight of nine Conference USA titles, is tied with Alabama-Birmingham for fifth place in the league.

The Blue Demons (15-5, 7-2) won their third straight Sunday, beating Saint Louis 56-53. DePaul, which has won seven of eight, is tied with Charlotte for second place in the conference.

Quemont Greer scored 16 points and Sammy Mejia added 15 for the Demons, who outrebounded Saint Louis 36-24. Drake Diener scored 12 points, and is just four shy of 1,000 for his career.

Marlon Brumfield, who averages 4.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, tipped a missed free throw out to Deiner, who hit two clinching free throws with nine seconds left.

``When you look around the country, how many guys can you say that average only four points have great value for a team?'' coach Dave Leitao said. ``He has great value because of all the intangibles.

``It couldn't be more fitting to win a game like this, because then he's finally noticed for some of the things that don't ever get talked about on a day-to-day basis.''

Cincinnati beat DePaul 83-54 on Jan. 6 in the conference opener for both teams. Maxiell scored 19 points for the Bearcats, and Greer led the Demons with 12.

Cincinnati leads the all-time series 28-11, but has lost the last two games at DePaul. Both teams will move to the Big East next season.

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 12:21 PM


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