No. 25 Gonzaga Poses Next Challenge For No. 1 Cincinnati

Dec. 3, 1999

CLEVELAND (AP) - Kenyon Martin made sure Cincinnati passed its first real test of the season. He will be asked to step up again Saturday as his top-ranked Bearcats meet No. 25 Gonzaga at the sixth annual Gatorade Rock-N-Roll Shootout in Cleveland.

Cincinnati (4-0) comes in on a bit of a roll after pulling away from Iowa State last Sunday in the championship game of the Big Island Invitational, winning 75-60 behind Martin's 22 points, nine rebounds and nine blocked shots.

"I played the way I wanted to play and the team played the way it wanted to play," said the 6-foot-9, 230-pound Martin, the tournament's MVP and Conference USA player of the week. "I'll take 22, nine and nine any day."

Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins said he hopes Martin's stellar play continues long after Saturday's date with Gonzaga (4-0).

"(Martin) does that all the time," Huggins said. "He only gets better and better and better. A year ago he couldn't do what he does offensively but he was always that good rebounding and guarding the ball."

Steve Logan, who was 12-for-12 from the free-throw line against Iowa State, finished with 16 points and DerMarr Johnson had 14 for the Bearcats.

Gonzaga, which advanced to the Elite Eight in last year's NCAA tournament, is off to a fast start this year under first-year coach Mark Few, remaining undefeated with its 71-55 win over Boise State on Wednesday.

Axel Dench scored 12 of his 15 points in an early 24-7 second-half run as the Bulldogs raced out to a 52-36 lead with 8:59 left. Few said his team's lack of first-half intensity made the game much more difficult that it should have been.

"We weren't ready to go mentally," he said. "In the second half, we pushed the ball upcourt and defended better."

Gonzaga also got 15 points and seven assists from Matt Santangelo, while Richie Frahm finished with 13 points.

Cincinnati has appeared in the last four Shootouts, posting wins over Temple, Western Kentucky and Massachusetts before beating Dayton 53-51 last year. The game will be followed by a contest between Cleveland State and Bowling Green.



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