Bearcats Set Sail With Pirates

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On Saturday the Cincinnati women's basketball team has a chance to earn its first Big East win since Jan. 5.


The Bearcats (8-14, 1-9 Big East) host Seton Hall at Fifth Third Arena at 2 p.m.


Both squads enter the game on significant losing streaks, the Cats have dropped eight in a row while the Pirates have dropped their last nine.


Cincinnati failed to put up 50 points in its last eight contests.


"We've had a real struggle scoring points and so has [Seton Hall]," said assistant coach Mark Ehlen. "If we hit shots like we have been the past couple of days [we'll be in great shape]. We're shooting with confidence [in practice]."


Seton Hall is last in the league in defense allowing 66.6 points.


The pair of teams have found the Big East to be unforgiving with Seton Hall still searching for its first league win at 0-10. The conference currently has six teams ranked in the AP Top-25 and three in the top 10.  


"It's hard to be on a long losing streak," Ehlen said. "This is a conference that is just unrelenting. You go from one great team to another. I think both teams are going to fight to stay out of the cellar. That's our motivation right now, we don't want to be last."


The toughest match up for UC will be junior forward Kandice Green who leads the team with 11.5 points per game and is third in the league in rebounding with 8.1. Green has six double-doubles this season.


Green played only four minutes on Tuesday against Notre Dame after hurting her ankle, her status for this game is unknown. If she does suit up, she will be a handful for the Bearcats in the frontcourt.    


"They have a strong inside presence in Kandice Green," Ehlen said. "She is somebody that is going to be a challenge for our young post players to contain, because she is so aggressive, offensively and defensive rebounds, you can't let her get second and third shot attempts."


"The other things she does very well is draw fouls. She's not just going to turn and shoot over you. She wants to go through you."


The Pirates are fifth in the Big East on the offensive glass with 15.8.


The catalyst in scoring behind Green for the Seton Hall is guard Jasmine Crew, who is averaging nearly 11 points a game. 


"Perimeter player Jasmine Crew is an outside threat, Ehlen said. "They have a strong inside and outside presence."


The Bearcats have been playing with seven healthy players following Jan. 18 when Chanel Chisholm went down with ankle injury. The junior transfer from Vanderbilt may see limited action.


"We're so short on numbers it's hard," Ehlen said. "Teams keep sending in players to wear us down, I think that's what happened against Georgetown [on Saturday]. Hopefully we'll get Chanel Chisholm back for a little time. She practiced today for the first time."


The Bearcats are last in the league in turnover margin at negative 3.59 a game, meanwhile the Pirates have nearly three more steals than UC per contest. This game could come down to execution on offense. 


"They're an athletic team," Ehlen said. "They will force turnovers, that isn't something we do a great job of. We're going to have to a do a great job of taking care of the basketball to keep this game close."

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