Previewing the opponent: USF Bulls

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The BIG EAST schedule is back and what better time to start conference play than after the Bearcats won the Hilton Garden Inn Hokie Classic in Blacksburg, Va. Cincinnati's second BIG EAST contest will take place at Fifth Third Arena tonight at 7 p.m. and will be against the southern-most BIG EAST squad, the University of South Florida. The Bearcats have a 14-7 series advantage against USF and have beaten the Bulls the last two times they have played them. The Bearcats, who are 9-5 (0-1 in the BIG EAST) will compete against a 8-6 USF team, who has recently lost to the University of Dayton, a team that UC beat earlier in the season. This is USF's first BIG EAST game this season.

The Bulls are led by an impressive senior guard, Jasmine Wynne, who is averaging 15.9 points per game. The Jacksonville, Florida native has scored in double-figures in 10 straight contests for the green and gold. Wynne also averages a team-high 6.4 rebounds per game while junior guard Kaneisha Saunders leads in the assist category averaging 2.9 per game.

Different than UC, the Bulls have a veteran coach in Jose Fernandez who has been with the program for 12 seasons and has an overall record, close to .500, at 178-174. Jamelle Elliott, the former UCONN stand-out is off to her best start as the head coach at UC.

The statistical leaders for the Bearcats are, Dayeesha Hollins, who is leading in scoring averaging 14.4 points per game. Tiffany Turner continues to lead the rebound category even with Jeanise Randolph back from injury, as she averages 7.9 rebounds per game. Dayeesha Hollins also leads the team in assists with 3.6 per game and has been very impressive lately, especially in her 26 point outing against Virginia Tech on Dec. 28.

Last season's match-up was one of the closest game since the two schools started playing in 1996. UC beat the Bulls 56-55 and tonight's match-up looks to be a close encounter again when examined on paper. The Bearcats should match-up relatively well with the team from Tampa Bay, with Dayeesha Hollins being an athletic guard who will be able to defend Wynne well. It should be another exciting night at Fifth Third Arena. Come out and support your women's basketball program.

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