Bearcats Fall in Pitt

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Bjonee Reaves matched her career-high 22 points in first start as a Bearcat but it was all for not in Tuesday's loss. 


Pittsburgh handed the Bearcats (8-13, 1-8 Big East) their seventh-straight defeat 79-48 at Petersen Events Center in the Steel City. 


The junior college transfer went the distance logging 40 minutes while shooting 6-16 and 7-8 from the free throw line. None of her teammates were able to hit double digits in points.


"I'm glad [Reaves] stepped up like that," head coach Jamelle Elliott said. "It's obvious Shareese Ulis has really been struggling physically. Her knees have been hurting her all season. I knew she wasn't going to be able to give us the type of game she had been giving us the last four or five games." 


It was just the fourth time this season that leading scorer Ulis has not dropped at least 10 points. 


The Bearcats hit a mediocre 28 percent of their shots. Elliott said she liked the looks her squad was getting but they needed more focus.


The Panthers (10-11, 2-6) had three scorers in double figures. Guard Jania Sims led all scorers with 24 as she hit the 1,000-point plateau - the 17th player in program history.


Forward Chelsea Cole had the contest's lone double-double with 19 points and 14 boards.


Pitt raced to a 16-5 lead just past the halfway point in the first half after UC hit one shot over that period.


The Panthers full-court press flustered the Bearcats from the tip off to the final horn as UC committed 16 turnovers. It didn't help that UC had a sparse bench due to injuries.


"They pressed us for 34, 35 minutes," Elliott said. "With seven players and your starting point guard hurting more and more every day [it's difficult to win]."


With 2:54 left in the opening half the Panthers stretched their lead to 23. The closest Cincinnati got the rest of the way was 16 on Jeanise Randolph free throw with 18:33 remaining. 


Pitt connected on 44 percent of their shots and converted 19-21 free throws. 


The Panthers ended a four-game losing streak and are 8-0 against UC since the Bearcats joined the Big East.


Cincinnati will square off with No. 17/19 Georgetown on Saturday at 3 p.m. in McDonough Arena.   


"Georgetown is going to press us just as much as [Connecticut and Pitt] did," Elliott said. "So we got to be ready for the 1-2-2 pressure."

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