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News Nuggets, 02.20.05
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

C-USA roundup: Ailing Bearcats fight off UAB


02.19.05: South Carolina fined by SEC for fans rushing court ... Shocker boosts Hokies hoops to new pinnacle ... C-USA basketball standings, scores, schedule & TV ... More...
02.18.05: Cards escape Milwaukee with win after Marquette collapse ... Former juco coach charged with conning Louisville ... C-USA basketball standings, scores, schedule & TV ... More...
02.17.05: No. 23 Charlotte out- grinds Diener-led DePaul ... No. 24 Cincinnati takes out anxiety on USM ... Houston cruises past turnover-prone Bulls ... More...
02.16.05: UAB looks to cure losing streak at ECU's expense ... Tonight's final USM-Cincy clash set for ESPN2 ... Conference and team power indexes ... ACC to try instant replay next football season ... More...
02.15.05: ECU sprint phenom lands another national honor ... AP basketball poll: Charlotte cracks Top 25 ... Tulane still reigns over Baseball America poll ... ECU's next foe, Clemson, 21st in Collegiate Baseball poll ... More...
02.14.05: C-USA basketball standings, scores, schedule & TV ... Billikens' star guard leaves team indefinitely ... More...
02.13.05: C-USA roundup: The 'other Diener' helps nail Cincy ... Coach suspended over incident with officials ... More...
02.12.05: Embarrassed Cards in recovery mode as USF arrives ... Bearcats face must-win matchup at DePaul ... More...
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...

CINCINNATI — While his sick teammates wheezed and gasped, Jason Maxiell scored and rebounded, trying not to come down with the bug that was going around.

The power forward did it all, getting No. 24 Cincinnati through a rough day.

Maxiell had 22 points and 11 rebounds Saturday, leading a flu-stricken team to a 72-69 Conference USA victory over slumping Alabama-Birmingham. His best work came from the free throw line, where he went 12-of-16.

``I knew I had to step up and be a leader,'' Maxiell said.

The Bearcats (20-6, 8-4 C-USA) had a nine-point lead cut to one in the final minute, but Armein Kirkland clinched it by making two free throws with 9.9 seconds to go. UAB's Caldwell ``Squeaky'' Johnson missed the rim with a long 3-pointer just before the buzzer.

Elsewhere around the league, Memphis defeated Southern Mississippi 85-73, Charlotte routed Tulane 86-67, Houston handled Texas Christian 69-57 and South Florida beat East Carolina 60-50.

Afterward, the worn-out Bearcats were thankful they could hold on.

``I'm relieved,'' coach Bob Huggins said in a raspy voice. ``At this time of the year, you just keep trying to win, to find a way to win.''

UAB (16-9, 6-6) hasn't won any of its last four games, its longest skid since 2001-02, arrived in Cincinnati on the heels of a Wednesday upset loss at home to East Carolina.

The Blazers forced 22 turnovers and had 11 steals — they lead the country in that category — but struggled at the free throw line for the third straight game, going 10-of-21.

``I thought we had the wear-and-tear in our favor,'' coach Mike Anderson said. ``They got tired. If you look at the last few minutes, it's basically the free throws.''

The Bearcats were ill-suited to keep up with UAB's fastbreak offense and full-court pressure defense because three key players were sapped by the flu.

Point guard Chadd Moore sat on the bench in long sleeves with a towel around his neck, feeling chills as he missed his second straight game. Forward James White played with a sagging face and missed a breakaway dunk, but managed 14 points.

``I'm feeling better now,'' White said. ``I'd get a pain in my chest and would get tired fast.''

Power forward Eric Hicks, the Bearcats' leader the last few games, couldn't jump high enough to make an uncontested dunk during the first half, when he went only 2-of-7 from the field. Hicks, averaging 19.2 points over the last five games, had nine points and 11 rebounds.

Donnell Taylor and Marvett McDonald each had 16 points for UAB.

Cincinnati opened the game with a 7-0 run, then struggled against UAB's relentless pressure. The Bearcats' depleted lineup shot only 30 percent for the game and matched its season high in turnovers.

``They gutted it out,'' Anderson said. ``That's probably not one of their better performances, but that's what good teams do.''

Huggins got so enraged by the turnovers that he started benching a player after each one. Point guard Jihad Muhammad had three turnovers in the opening 69 seconds, and got stripped by Johnson for a layup that put UAB ahead 31-26 at the start of the second half, the Blazers' biggest lead.

Cincinnati changed the momentum by dominating the boards and taking the ball inside, forcing the smaller Blazers to foul. Demario Eddins picked up his fourth foul with 14:57 left, when three other UAB players already had three.

Forward Marques Lewis, the Blazers' leading rebounder, crumpled to the court with 7:11 to go and left the game without putting any weight on his left knee, which already was protected by a brace. He returned in the final minute, finishing with four points and three rebounds.

Anderson drew a technical foul for going on the court to argue a call with 6:16 to go. White made the two free throws, giving Cincinnati its biggest lead of the game, 63-54.

Eddins scored the Blazers' next eight points, and McDonald hit a fadeaway bank shot with 50 seconds left that cut it to 68-67. Maxiell hit two free throws, and McDonald made another bank shot with 32 seconds left.

Forced to foul, UAB sent Kirkland to the line for the decisive free throws, both of which bounced around on the rim before falling down.

C-USA standings, scores, schedule & TV

STANDINGS (through Saturday):

TEAM               CONF   PCT    ALL   PCT
Louisville         10 2  .833   22 4  .846
Charlotte          10 2 .833    19 4  .826
Memphis             9 3 .750   16 10  .615
DePaul              8 3 .727    16 6  .727
Cincinnati          8 4 .667    20 6  .769
Houston             8 5 .615   17 10  .630
UAB                 6 6 .500    16 9  .640
Texas Christian     6 6 .500   16 10  .615
Marquette           5 7 .417    17 8  .680
Saint Louis         4 7 .364    7 17  .292
South Florida       4 9 .308   11 13  .458
Tulane              3 9 .250    9 14  .391
East Carolina      3 10 .231    8 17  .320
Southern Miss      1 12 .077   10 15  .400


Cincinnati 83, Southern Miss 51
Charlotte 66, DePaul 62
Houston 68, South Florida 50
Saint Louis 78, Ind.-Pur.-Ft. Wayne 66
East Carolina 67, UAB 64


Louisville 64, Marquette 61 (ESPN)


Memphis 85, Southern Miss 73 (ESPN+)
Cincinnati 72, UAB 69 (ESPN)
South Florida 60, East Carolina 50
Houston 69, Texas Christian 57
Charlotte 86, Tulane 67


DePaul at Marquette 1:30 PM (CBS)
Saint Louis at Louisville 5:00 PM


South Florida at DePaul 8:30 PM


Southern Miss at East Carolina 7 PM
Memphis at Charlotte 7:30 PM
Texas Christian at Tulane 8 PM
UAB at Saint Louis 8:10 PM


Marquette at Cincinnati 9 PM (ESPN2)


Saint Louis at DePaul 1 PM (ESPN+)
Cincinnati at Texas Christian 3 PM (ESPN+)
Southern Miss at Charlotte 3 PM
Houston at East Carolina 7 PM
Tulane at UAB 8:30 PM
Louisville at Memphis 9 PM (ESPN)

Compiled from Conference USA and wire reports.


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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