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Bearcats’ Merrill, Wilder Collide

March 4, 2002

CHICAGO (AP) _ Cincinnati forward Debbie Merrill was taken to a hospital after sustaining a cut on her forehead in a collision with teammate Laura Wilder in the first half of the No. 23 Bearcats’ Conference USA semifinal game against Houston on Sunday.

The players banged heads and fell to the floor while hustling back on defense. Merrill was able to sit up, but she bled profusely from a gash in her forehead. Wilder was on her back, but conscious.

Merrill frantically called for time out as the Bearcats played 3-on-5 basketball for a possession at the other end of the floor.

Houston scored, and after time was called and about three minutes passed, both players walked off the court with some help.

Merrill returned to the locker room, but was sent to nearby Grant Hospital where she received stitches. She did not return to the game.

Wilder returned to the game a few minutes later.

Merrill, a 6-foot-3 freshman, is No. 23 Cincinnati’s second-leading scorer at 15.1 points, the team’s leading rebounder averaging 8.2 per game.

Wilder, a 6-foot-1 senior, averages seven points and 5.3 rebounds.

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