Saturday , Feb , 21 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Cincy outlasts Louisville in OT

Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) – Eric Hicks and Tony Bobbitt each scored five
points in overtime, as 17th-ranked Cincinnati defeated No. 10 Louisville,
66-61, at Fifth Third Arena.

Field Williams paced the Bearcats with 18 points and forced overtime with a
jumper in the final second of regulation. Hicks ended with 10 points and 14
rebounds. Jason Maxiell had 12 points and Bobbitt chipped in 11 for Cincinnati
(18-5, 9-3 C-USA), which halted a two-game skid.

“We knew today that if we did not win, we were done,” said Bobbitt. “We needed
it.”

Francisco Garcia poured in 27 points and handed out seven assists for the
Cardinals (17-6, 7-5). Taquan Dean netted 11 points for Louisville, which has
dropped three in a row and five of its last six contests. The Cardinals played
without Luke Whitehead, who is bothered by an ankle injury.

In the overtime, Garcia’s three-pointer gave Louisville a 58-56 lead with 2:27
left. The Bearcats then responded with a 6-0 run, culminated by Bobbitt’s
three-point shot, to grab a 62-58 advantage.

After the teams traded baskets, Otis George made of 1-of-2 tries from the foul
line for Louisville to make it 64-61 with 26.8 seconds remaining. Bobbitt was
then fouled two seconds later and sank both attempts from the stripe to seal
it.

Nick Williams’ jumper nearly five minutes into the second half staked the
Bearcats to a 28-20 lead.

Garcia then scored the next seven points to pull the Cardinals within one, but
Field Williams countered with a four-point play and later added another three-
pointer during a 12-5 run that pushed Cincinnati’s advantage to 40-32 with
9:15 left.

The Cardinals again rallied and took the lead at 51-50 on a pair of free
throws by Larry O’Bannon with 56.4 seconds remaining. It marked Louisville’s
first advantage since midway through the first half.

Maxiell then answered with a foul line jumper to put the Bearcats back in
front. However, on the next possession for the Cardinals, Nate Daniels drained
a three-point shot to make it 54-52 in favor of Louisville with 16.7 seconds
left.

Field Williams then sent the game into the extra session when he hit a jumper
with 2/10ths of a second remaining. Williams’ foot was on the three-point line
as he launched the shot.

“I just wanted to catch it and shoot (a three-pointer), but he (the defender)
was closing so I had to take a dribble,” Williams said. “I was lucky it went
in.”

The Cardinals scored only two points over the first seven minutes of the game
and trailed 9-2. Louisville then went on a 10-1 spurt, capped by Dean’s
three-pointer, to take a two-point advantage midway through the opening half.

However, the Cardinals again suffered through a drought, as they managed just
one free throw in the final five minutes of the half and trailed 20-15 at the
intermission.

Cincinnati was only 7-of-28 from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, while
Louisville made just 6-of-29 field goal attempts. It was the lowest scoring
half of the season for both clubs.

CINCINNATI LOUISVILLE