It's about time
Cincinnati beats Kent St. for long-awaited Sweet 16 trip
Updated: Sunday March 18, 2001 12:09 AM
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- First, Bob Huggins screamed at his players. Later, after Cincinnati ran Kent State and a second-round jinx into the ground, he hugged them.
Cincinnati beat the Golden Flashes 66-43 Saturday in the NCAA West Regional to advance to the final 16 for just the second time in seven years.
"I'm really happy for them," said Huggins, who earned his 300th coaching victory in the first round against Brigham Young. "We had so many new guys. We struggled early and they took some criticism. They've come a long way and worked hard."
The fifth-seeded Bearcats had endured four consecutive years of losing to lower-seeded teams in the second round. Guard Steve Logan was around for two of those defeats.
"We were tired of everybody saying we couldn't get past the second round," said Logan, who had 13 points. "It was real personal and emotional for me to get this win. I wanted this win real bad."
"Coach looked at me and told me I needed a big game today and I responded," Davis said.
Cincinnati (25-9) won the battle of Ohio with a transition game that left its neighbors 240 miles to the north in the dust.
"They shut us down on everything we did," Kent State coach Gary Waters said. "There some times I thought we could get through it, but the ball was not falling."
The 13th-seeded Golden Flashes couldn't shoot and couldn't rebound against Cincinnati's frontline of 6-foot-11 B.J. Grove, 6-9 Davis and 6-4 Immanuel McElroy. The Bearcats had a 43-22 rebounding advantage.
"That size hurt us," Waters said. "If we could rebound with them, we could stay in the game and we did not."
The Bearcats advanced to the final 16 next week in Anaheim, where they'll play either top-seeded Stanford or No. 9 seed St. Joseph's in the West Regional semifinals.
Kent State ended its season with a school-record 24 victories and 10 losses, but the Flashes hardly looked like the team that upset fourth-seeded Indiana 77-73 in the first round.
Trevor Huffman was held to seven points -- his second-lowest season total -- while the Flashes' 27 percent shooting was their worst of the season and the lowest allowed by the Bearcats.
"They're just tough defenders," Huffman said. "That's the way to play it, take the ball out of my hands and make somebody else do the work."
Cincinnati led 30-22 at halftime, then built a double-digit lead it never relinquished over the final 20 minutes. The Bearcats' biggest lead was the 23-point final margin, after they scored 13 of the game's final 15 points.
Satterfield added 10 points and seven assists, making the Bearcats 19-2 when Logan and Satterfield both reach double figures.
Cincinnati opened with a 23-12 run that provided its largest lead of the first half. Logan capped the spurt with a 3-pointer as the Bearcats shot 51 percent and held a 20-12 rebounding advantage.
Kent State missed 16 of its first 19 shots, and Huffman scored just three points in the half.