Sooners' Hot Start Finally Halted

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
DECEMBER 22, 1999

Dec. 22, 1999

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Kenyon Martin, slowed by foul trouble in the first half, finished with 23 points Wednesday night as No. 4 Cincinnati rebounded from its first loss of the season by beating No. 21 Oklahoma 72-57.

The Bearcats (9-1) lost 66-64 to Xavier on Saturday night, a game in which a sluggish first half cost them. But they were on their game from the start and had no trouble handing Oklahoma (9-1) its first loss.

Martin played just six minutes in the first half and scored six points, then dominated at both ends throughout the final 20 minutes. He wound up 11-of-13 from the field, with nine rebounds and three blocks.

Kenny Satterfield had 16 points. Pete Mickeal, arguably Cincinnati's second-best player, didn't score until there was 5:30 left in the game and finished with just four points, but it didn't matter.

Eduardo Najera, a preseason All-Big 12 player who is being touted by the school as an All-America candidate, had 16 points and 11 rebounds but missed 15 of his 21 field goal tries. He fouled out with 4:29 remaining and the Sooners trailing by 13.

Najera wasn't the only Oklahoma player who struggled with his shot. The Sooners shot a season-low 30 percent, compared with 52 percent for Cincinnati.

Oklahoma used a 3-pointer by J.R.Raymond at the start of the second half to cut Cincinnati's lead to 39-32, and the Sooners still trailed by seven five minutes into the half.

Then Martin scored on an alley oop dunk to start a 14-2 run that gave the Bearcats a 59-40 lead and made the final eight minutes incidental.

Martin made his first three shots but picked up his second foul at the 13:56 mark. While he sat, the Bearcats controlled the backboards at both ends of the floor and used superior athleticism to challenge most every Oklahoma shot. A 13-2 run - Ryan Fletcher, DerMarr Johnson and Jermaine Tate scored all the points - gave Cincinnati a 34-19 lead with 7:13 left before halftime.

Najera was just 3-of-11 shooting with two rebounds in the first half.



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