Game Balls & Player Ratings: Evansville

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The Cincinnati Bearcats won their third consecutive game at Fifth Third Arena tonight and did so in convincing fashion, beating Evansville 64 to 34. Led by senior guard Bjonee Reaves, the Bearcats shot it well early before beginning to cool off as the second half got going. Still, it was an impressive performance from a team that is having no problem executing its offense in the early going this season. There were a lot of great performances tonight, but tonight's game balls are awarded to Reaves, Kayla Cook, and Tiffany Turner for their efforts and production.

Player ratings: (0-10; 10=Best)

Game Ball winners:

1. Bjonee Reaves, 9 -- Reaves was exciting and clutch once again for the Bearcats as she was able to amount 18 points in 23 minutes. On three occasions Reaves was able to finish off possessions with tough shots to beat the shot clock buzzer. Two of those shots were deep, three point baskets. Reaves went four-for-five from three-point range tonight. She was seven of eight from every where else on the floor as well. In addition, Reaves was able to showcase her passing abilities, leading the team with 4 assists. It was a solid and proficient outing for Reaves. These types of games should be expected out of the senior guard and will be needed in order to continue the success the Bearcats are experiencing.

"Bjonee plays with a lot of confidence," Head Coach Jamelle Elliott said. "Even when she's missing shots she thinks that she is going to make the next one. No matter what's going on in the game, she has confidence in her abilities. I'm just happy because she puts so much effort into her leadership, her emotions, and what she gives to our team everyday in practice."

"She's the first one to call the huddle when we need one in practice," Elliott said. "She believes in her self, I believe in her, the team believes in her, and the last few games she's really came out and set the tone for what it is we're trying to do to win basketball games." 

2. Kayla Cook, 8 -- What can I say about Kayla Cook? Well, the girl can flat out shoot the rock, for starters. Cook continued to show her streaky ability to shoot the ball tonight. She went four-for-five from three-point land and added a lay-up to give her 14 total points on the night. In Elliott's eyes, Cook is really becoming a combo-guard who can not only shoot from deep, but a player who can also put the ball on the floor and take it to the hole. Cook led all five starters in minutes played tonight, with 29, and is showing why she should be on opponents' scouting reports. This is Cook's first game ball this season and with steady performances like this game-in-and-game-out, she will always be on my game ball radar.

"Last year they kept saying that I'm going to be a good shooter," Cook said. "When I came back that was all I wanted to do. I wanted to continue working on my shot and I'm hoping later in the season to develop a jump shot instead of just being a spot-up three-point shooter."

"She has a lot more confidence in her ball handling ability this year than she had last year and it shows," Elliott said. "Most of the time when you are a spot-up shooter that's all that you can do. She can spot-up shoot it and she can take the ball to the basket. She goes 110 percent every play, so she's been somebody I know I can count on."

3. Tiffany Turner, 7 -- Turner, who was an honorable mention of my last game ball post, gains her first game ball this season in the team's win over Evansville. Turner who is nursing a sore knee was able to establish her dominance inside tonight amounting nine rebounds and three blocked shots. Turner was also able to add six points to her game-totals tonight and is a steady contributor so far for the Bearcats this season. It seems that every time Turner matches up with her opponent she is being labeled as "smaller". Her work ethic and intensity seems to make up for the size disparity every time, as Turner has shown a lot of improvement since last season. With the team counting on her for an inside presence until Jeanise Randolph returns from a back injury, Turner will have numerous chances to earn game ball honors.

"This year I've felt like I've just needed to prove something," Turner said. "I have a lot of strength now. I feel like I can battle against them even though they are undersized."

Honorable Mention: Dayeesha Hollins, 7 -- 10 points, two assists, two rebounds 

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