Game Balls & Player Ratings: USF Bulls

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Another lead was taken from the hands of the Bearcats last night as they fell at Fifth Third Arena for the second time in conference play this season. Leading by four points at the break (31-27), the USF Bulls pulled away in the second half out scoring the Bearcats by seven. The Bull's charge came from their bench, which scored 28 points, while the Bearcats' bench only added seven points to their total of 55 (Jeanise Randolph and Alyesha Lovett were the only bench players to see action). Dayeesha Hollins led the way for UC with 22 points for a team that shot 50 percent in the first half versus only 34 percent in the second half. Points in the paint were a bright side for the Bearcats though, as they out scored the Bulls by 16 near the basket. There were obvious struggles during last night's game and it came from Kayla Cook and Bjonee Reaves who shot a combined 1-12 and added only three points between the two of them in 73 minutes. Reaves was shut out for the first time this season. Chanel Chisholm and Tiffany Turner scored in double-figures for UC and helped keep the score close. Chisholm added 13 points and eight rebounds, while Turner scored 10 points and pulled down four boards. Hollins, Chisholm and Turner receive game ball honors for their efforts and production.

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

Game Ball winners:

1. Dayeesha Hollins, 9 -- This girl knows how to lead this team and she does it not only in the huddle but also by example on the court. Hollins got off to a red-hot start connecting on two three-pointers during the first two minutes of action last night. She led all scorers with 22 points and was the reason the Bearcats had the lead at halftime and kept this game close. She took a boat-load of shots, but I see no problem with that because of the struggles demonstrated from her fellow guards, Reaves and Cook. Hollins is on her way to becoming an All-BIG EAST performer this season.

"I just play whatever is available to me, and I take advantage of it, so I just play the game, pretty much," Hollins said. "It's better, I am good."

2. Chanel Chisholm, 8 -- The Bearcats were dominant in the painted area last night and a lot of that credit goes to this senior guard. We all know Chisholm's game is getting to the rim and finishing with power, but she has also been a great re-bounder this season with two double-doubles and nearly another last night. She may not show up every game based on how the team is shooting from deep, but Chisholm gave the team a much needed spark last night and has continued to be a leader for a team looking to find its way in the BIG EAST conference.

"I thought Tiffany (Turner) and Chanel (Chisholm) as post players stepped up. But you have Kayla Cook and Bjonee (Reaves) combine for 73 minutes and between the two of them, they were 1-for-12 on the floor. So you can't have our best player denied and then the other two perimeter players not having any productiveness, just as far as helping us in the scoring column," Head coach Jamelle Elliott said. "You just can't have two guys that play over 35 minutes a game going 1-for-12. Why did they go 1-for-12? You know, I don't know. Were they not making shots? Were they not aggressive? Especially when our best player is taken out of the game we have to have others guys step up and help us win. Kayla plays hard for 40 minutes defensively. Bjonee, I think she takes some breaks off whether it is her knee or something else."

3. Tiffany Turner, 7 -- Still in her role in the starting line-up, Turner was able to score in double-figures last night while adding to the domination in the paint. She was effective shooting the ball (5-7) and added four rebounds. Even though her rebounding numbers should be up in a game like this, Turner is still a pivotal part to this operation. She played 26 minutes, while Jeanise Randolph only saw 14. They will continued to be platooned at the forward position this season, but it seems that Turner is still the more productive one of the two, at least for now. 

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