ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) -- Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins wished he
traveled a little lighter for this road trip.
With the Conference-USA title still at stake, the Bearcats (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 13 AP) turned in a surprisingly sloppy, uninspired performance
against DePaul on Thursday night. They were outrebounded,
outhustled and, eventually, outscored in the Blue Demons' 68-65
Huggins wasn't happy with anyone on his team, but most of his
anger was reserved for senior Tony Bobbitt, who finished 1-for-8
and committed two very costly fouls on 3-point shots.
"I should have left him home," Huggins said. "If I had it to
do over again, I'd have left him home."
Bobbitt didn't disagree, saying he has to clean up his act.
Cincinnati (20-6, 11-4 C-USA) can still win a share of the title if
it beats Memphis on Saturday.
"My attitude (stinks)," Bobbitt said. "He's right. He's
absolutely right. ... I've got to make a change, come out and beat
The Bearcats (20-6, 11-4) are going to have to make a few
changes if they hope to beat Memphis. Cincinnati has been one of
the best-shooting teams in the conference (.468) and has had at
least four players in double figures in 12 of its previous 19
But on Thursday night, the Bearcats shot less than 44 percent,
lost the rebounding battle 36-27 and had only three players in
double figures. Field Williams had 14 points, and Eric Hicks and
Armein Kirkland had 10 each.
Drake Diener and Delonte Holland led DePaul (18-8, 11-4) with 17
each, and Quemont Greer had 13 points and 10 rebounds. It was
DePaul's first victory over a team ranked this high since December
2000, when the Blue Demons beat then No. 10 Missouri. Fans were
chanting "Nah-nah, hey-hey, goodbye!" as the final seconds ticked
off, and students rushed the floor when the final buzzer sounded.
"We got beat by a good team," Huggins said. "We didn't play
For the Blue Demons, it couldn't get much better. DePaul opened
the conference season 0-2, but with victories in 11 of its last 13
games, the Blue Demons still have an outside chance at a share of
the league title.
The win also could help their NCAA tournament chances.
"This was crazy," Holland said. "The fans, the student
section, it's something I always will remember. All the support
from the fans. It's something special."
After an uncharacteristically sloppy first half, the Bearcats
appeared to set the tone with their first field goal of the second.
Taking off from the left baseline, Maxiell looked as if he was
going for the rebound Kareem Johnson's miss. Instead, he grabbed
the ball in mid-flight and slammed it through the hoop for a dunk
that had even the DePaul fans gasping.
Kirkland's turnaround jumper gave Cincinnati a 42-39 lead with
13:18 left, and it looked as if the Blue Demons might be
overmatched. But Andre Brown scored on a layup to spark a 10-0 run
that was part of a larger 21-9 spurt.
Diener and Holland made back-to-back 3s and, after a timeout,
Diener hit an 18-footer to give DePaul a 49-42 lead with 10:42 to
"Coach just told us we'd been in this position before and it's
time we really cracked down," said Chris Exilus, who had nine
points. "The aggressor and team that wants it that most is going
to win. And we really wanted this game."
A Jason Maxiell dunk and a 3 by Bobbitt cut DePaul's lead to
49-47. But anytime the Bearcats were poised to make a run, they
found a way to blow it and this time was no different. DePaul's
LeVar Seals took a 3 from well behind the line, and it was clear he
wasn't going to have a shot. But Bobbitt smacked him just as he let
the ball go, and Seals got three foul shots.
It was the second time Bobbitt was whistled for a foul on a
Seals made the first two and after he missed the third, Greer
rushed in to grab the rebound. He scored on a layup, putting DePaul
back up 53-47 with 8:07 to play.
The Bearcats pulled within 60-56 with 2:23 to play when Brown
was called for goaltending. But they were forced to foul down the
stretch and couldn't come up with the big plays to close the gap.
"This is a game where I don't know that a whole lot of words
are necessary," DePaul coach Dave Leitao said. "Guys spoke
volumes by their effort."