NEW ORLEANS – University of Cincinnati women’s basketball wrapped the regular season Monday with an 80-65 victory at Tulane.
With the win, the Bearcats (20-9, 12-4 AAC) tallied 20 victories for the first time since 2003 and 12 league triumphs for the first time since 1999.
UC led the entire game, but a 21-12 advantage after one quarter set the tone for the rest of the contest as the Bearcats dealt the Green Wave (15-14, 5-11 AAC) its fifth-consecutive defeat. The triumph was also the Red & Black’s first in New Orleans since 2002.
Sophomore forward IImar’I Thomas (Oakland, Calif./Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep) notched her sixth double-double of the season with game highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds. Junior guard Antoinette Miller (Detroit, Mich./Southfield-Lathrup) added 16 points, six assists, and a career-high six steals. Junior forward Angel Rizor (Zebulon, N.C./East Wake) stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and a block. In addition, junior guard Sam Rodgers (Cincinnati, Ohio/Lakota East) chipped in 11 points, four rebounds, and three assists.
Facing Tulane for the first time this season, the Red & Black jumped out quickly to a 2-0 lead and never looked back. The Bearcats led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter and took a 21-12 advantage into the second following a Puckett putback at the buzzer. In the second, UC increased its lead to a then-game-high 13 points, but saw the Green Wave fight back to get within eight with 3:09 to go before halftime. Cincinnati responded with a 5-2 burst to end the quarter to maintain a 32-21 advantage at the break.
The Bearcats really separated themselves from the Wave early in the third quarter, scoring the first seven points of the half to take a 39-21 lead. The Red & Black built its surplus up to as many as 20 points with three minutes left in the third quarter, but fell victim to a 12-6 TU run to hold a 58-44 advantage with 10 minutes left to play. UC stayed in control throughout the final period, only allowing the home team to get within 13 late in the game as it cruised to an 80-65 win.
UC shot the ball at a 49-percent clip from the field and knocked down four 3-pointers. The Bearcats also buried 16-of-20 from the free-throw line and racked up 17 assists. In addition, the Red & Black turned Tulane over a season-high-tying 24 times, resulting in 26 points. Cincinnati also scored 40 points in the paint, tallied 25 points off of 16 offensive rebounds, and got out in transition for 16 points.
// UP NEXT
As the No. 3 seed in the 2019 American Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Championship, the Bearcats will face the winner of the No. 11 – No. 6 matchup on Saturday, March 9 at 8 p.m. ET at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
// AAC CHAMPIONSHIP TICKET INFO
Fans wanting to support University of Cincinnati women’s basketball at the 2019 American Athletic Conference Championship can purchase tickets at GoBearcats.com/Tickets or by calling 1-877-CATS-TIX. The championship will take place March 8-11, 2019, with all games being played at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, for the sixth-consecutive season. All-session ticket packages, which includes admission to all four days of competition – a total of 11 games – will be available for $99. Tickets will be allocated and mailed the week of Feb. 25. All will-call tickets will be available to pick up at the Mohegan Sun Arena on UC gamedays.