Bearcats Maul Youngstown St.


Kenny Satterfield and DerMarr Johnson didn't look like first-game freshmen.

The two guards riddled Youngstown State's flimsy perimeter defense Saturday night, helping No. 1 Cincinnati pull away to a 94-67 victory in its first regular-season game as the top-ranked team.

It amounted to a coming-out party for Satterfield and Johnson, who hold the Bearcats' future in their young hands. If their debuts were a barometer, that future is very promising.

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  • "I didn't expect either of them to shoot that well," Youngstown State coach John Robic said. "We gave them open looks, but they knocked 'em down. You have to give them credit.

    "It was their first game as freshmen. I expected them to be like my guys were going to be, but they weren't. That's why they're here."

    Satterfield, a backup point guard, made his first three 3-point attempts as Cincinnati surged ahead by 20 points in the first 11 minutes. Satterfield, who scored a total of four points in two exhibitions, finished with 14.

    "It's your first game in the regular season and you're just trying to relax and do things," Satterfield said. "As soon as you hit that first shot, all the pressure's off of you."

    Johnson, a 6-foot-9 shooting guard, led Cincinnati with 18 points, most of them when the game was out of reach in the second half. Leonard Stokes, the last member of Cincinnati's freshman guard trio, added five points.

    Elmer Brown led Youngstown State (1-1) with a career-high 30 points. When he banked in a shot at the final buzzer, he became the first Youngstown State player to score 30 points since 1992.

    Cincinnati used its size advantage, full-court defense and accurate outside shooting to make quick work of the Penguins, ho were overwhelmed at the start and didn't settle down until they were way behind.

    Nerves came into play.

    "We had talked about trying to upset the No. 1 team, how that would go down in history," said Brown, who was 13-of-24 from the field. "I didn't sleep last night. I was just excited."

    Cincinnati won its 20th consecutive season-opening game and stretched its home-court winning streak to 33 games, fifth-longest in Division I.

    Youngstown State's starters were nearly 3 inches shorter than Cincinnati's starters on average. The Penguins were so concerned with the Bearcats' imposing front line that they left the perimeter wide open.

    Cincinnati made 10 of 23 3-point attempts, including 6-of-8 in an opening 31-11 spurt. The Bearcats' full-court pressure also was a factor, forcing the rattled Penguins to turn the ball over on their first three possessions and four of their first five.

    "I saw the deer-in-the-headlights look," said Robic, who quickly called a timeout. "They were staring at me and didn't know what to say. I told them to take a breath."

    Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins used the opportunity to get experience for his freshmen. All three got into the game in the first four minutes, and Huggins substituted freely throughout the game. Eight players logged at least 15 minutes.

    "Defensively we were good at times and really, really bad at times," Huggins said. "When you're playing as many guys as we have and using different combinations, it's hard. But we're going to keep playing a lot of guys."

    Youngstown State took its first loss under Robic. Dan Peters, its coach the last six seasons, became one of Huggins' assistants last spring.

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