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Game Balls & Player Ratings: Louisville Cardinals

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The women's basketball program has been searching for its signature win since head coach Jamelle Elliott took over the struggling program three years ago. In their first BIG EAST game this season UC had that win slip through their grasp in the final minute of regulation. Fourteenth ranked Louisville defeated the Bearcats 64-59 using a three-point basket and free throws in the final minute. Before leaving the game with an apparent shoulder injury, Dayeesha Hollins scored 15 points and was the key to breaking the athletic press of UL.
Tiffany Turner continued her bruising play inside scoring 11 points and claiming 11 rebounds, her second double-double this season. Bjonee Reaves and Kayla Cook both shot the ball very well from deep most of night and both added double figures, Reaves with 18 (leading all scorers) and Cook with 13. An animated bench helped propel the girls tonight to a near upset and Hollins, Turner and Reaves are awarded game ball honors for the efforts and production.

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

Game Ball winners:

1. Dayeesha Hollins, 9 -- Hollins will be remembered in this game for not returning due to a shoulder injury, but her play before the injury was the reason UC held the lead for most of the second half. Hollins continually beat the press and put her teammates in great positions to score. An acrobatic lay-up was one of the plays of the game, which was a great showing from a Bearcat team that is attempting to turn BIG EAST doubters into believers.

2. Tiffany Turner, 9 -- Turner had her second double-double of the season tonight and according to Elliott she did it on one healthy knee. That's an amazing feat for a player who was out sized inside and did not have the benefit of resting on the bench while her replacements picked up the slack. Turner was one of four starters that played over 35 minutes and was able to produce during every one of those minutes. From strong blocks, nice jumpers, solid rebounds, and finesse finishes around the basket, Turner was one of the best players on the floor for either squad.
 
3. Bjonee Reaves, 9 -- Reaves continues to lead her team through the thick and thin of game situations. Reaves made a lot of tough shots and finished as the games highest scorer. Her rainbow three-pointer was one of the coolest plays of the night until Reaves decided to one-up herself getting a floater to go in the final minute keeping her team within striking distance. Obviously disappointed, the way Reaves controls herself and keeps the heads of her teammates up will go a long way towards the success of this Bearcats team. 

Honorable Mention: Kayla Cook, 8 --
After struggling to get going in the first half, Cook had her shot going in the second half. Number 10 played all 40 minutes and hustled during every one of them. Her efforts were worth an honorable mention.

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