Pirates Punish Cats

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Cincinnati stormed back from a 24-point deficient to pull within three, before falling to Seton Hall.


The Pirates defeated UC 51-44 Saturday at Fifth Third Arena in the Bearcats' ninth-consecutive loss.  


With 18:14 remaining the Pirates stretched their largest lead of the game to 33-9. The Bearcats answered with a 30-9 run to make it a one-possession game after a 3-pointer from freshman Kayla Cook at the 2:20 mark.


"If you have enough heart, you never think the game is over in spite of the score," guard Shareese Ulis said. "Every team goes on a run, so we knew we were capable of going on a run."


Senior Shelly Bellman had a chance to knot the game but came up short on her shot from distance.   


A Bjonee Reaves' 3-ball with under 30 seconds remaining, bounced on the back and front of the rim before rolling off with UC trailing by five.


"When it left my hands, I really thought it was going in," Reaves said. "I had a really good look but it just didn't go down for me. It was pretty heartbreaking."


Seton Hall guard Jasmine Crew netted a game-best 17 points including 3-5 shooting from behind the arc. Guard Brittany Morris chipped in 11.


Reaves paced the Bearcats with 11 points in her third-straight start.


"[Being in the starting five] is definitely giving me more confidence to put up some points," Reaves said.


Cincinnati limited its miscues to six in the closing half and shot 40.6 percent from the field, the best by either squad.


"I wish we would have came out and played that type of basketball at the beginning of the game," head coach Jamelle Elliott said. "We had four of our best practices leading into this game."


UC shot a miserable 20 percent in the opening half and committed 12 turnovers. Both factored into the Bearcats' first half season-low nine points.


"The first half was kind of the nail in the coffin for this game," Elliott said.


With the loss Cincinnati is now 0-14 when trailing at halftime.


The Bearcats shot 29 3-pointers and attempted 23 2-point field goals. Elliott attributes this to her team's lack of penetrating guards and limited touches in the post. 


"I think [Reaves is] the only player on our team that has the ability to infiltrate defenses with the basketball on the dribble," Elliott said. "[Forward] Jeanise Randolph had a great week of practice. Our game plan coming in was to get her the ball."


While UC dug too deep of a hole to climb out of in the first half, free throws ultimately plagued the team.


Seton Hall knocked down 13-15 and Cincinnati went 4-13.


Seton Hall came strong out of the gate with a 14-0 lead six minutes into the contest.


A Shelly Bellman 3-pointer from the top of the key made it 42-34 with 3:26 to go, pulling UC within single digits for the first time since the score was 8-0.


Cincinnati faces Villanova Tuesday at Pavilion at 7 p.m.



 ---Junior guard Chanel Chisholm made her first appearance for the Bearcats since Jan. 18 when she injured her ankle against St. John's. She contributed four points and four rebounds in 15 minutes. She was the eighth player to dress for Elliott, who needs all the healthy bodies she can get. "She was another sub coming off the bench," Elliott said. "I was just wanting her to come in and give some of those guys a blow."


---UC dropped to 7-3 when holding opponents to 60 points or less. The Bearcats are 4-0 when limiting teams to less than 50 points. The team is 8-0 on the season when leading at halftime.

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