Game Balls & Player Ratings: Georgetown Hoyas

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CINCINNATI --The Bearcats made some runs to keep themselves in the game, but late it was the combination of UC's 24 turnovers and Georgetown's made free throws that really decided this BIG EAST tilt. Similar to the first half in which the Bearcats ended on a 7-0 run to cut the Georgetown lead to four -- Cincinnati ended the second half with a barrage of three-pointers, but failed to complete the upset. The loss to the Hoyas (18-5;7-3) ended Cincinnati's (11-12; 2-8) two-game winning streak. Leading scorer in the BIG EAST, Sugar Rodgers struggled in the early going, but was able to score 11 of her 19 points in the last 5:00 of the game. Her 19 points was a game high. Leading the Bearcats was Dayeesha Hollins who scored 17 points and Bjonee Reaves who also scored 17. Kayla Cook got in on the act late and was able to score 10 points by shooting 4-8 from three-point range. Cook, Hollins and Reaves receive game ball awards tonight for the efforts and production.

"Looks like the difference in the game was that we turned the ball over 24 times," Head Coach Jamelle Elliott said after the game. "They pressured us for 40 minutes. (Dayeesha Hollins) had nine turnovers which is uncharacteristic for her.  I thought she tried to split those traps a little too much instead of reversing the ball. But, the kid's trying to make plays and you can't be mad at her for that. On the flip side of that, on the No. 15 team in the country, we cut it to five one time, we cut it to four. We had a two-on-one fast break with Bjonee (Reaves) to be able to cut it to three. We had our chances. Everybody talks about hanging around with the No. 15 team in the country.  I can't wait until we get to the point where not only do we hang around, but we make better decisions so that we can win these games. Georgetown probably didn't come out and play their best basketball. And, when a team that's ranked in the country doesn't come out and play their best basketball and we're still playing hard but we're not upping our level, it's still going to be hard to beat a bunch of teams. Today, we really didn't up our level enough to give ourselves the best chance to beat a very good Georgetown team."

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

Game Ball winners:

1. Dayeesha Hollins, 9 -- Dayeesha continues to show why she is the Bearcats best player this season. Her defensive pressure against Rodgers was stellar in the first half and her production was needed to keep her team in the game. She continues to use her high-motor and athletic ability to her advantage. Her pace up and down the floor really propels this team, but it does seem that other players are watching and anticipating her to take over each game. She is certainly the straw that stirs the drink, if you will, and is key to the Bearcats success during the final six games and in the BIG EAST Tournament. A game-high nine turnovers, however, is an area for concern for Hollins who is still only a sophomore.

"In those situations I have to make the best decision and know where the open people are instead of rushing, and that's something I have to work on," Hollins said.

2. Bjonee Reaves, 9 -- Bjonee's confidence is something that everyone on the team can learn from. Reaves has shown this season that she has the ability to score from anywhere on the floor and a lot of that is predicated to her immense amount of confidence. She connected on big shots from deep in this game to help her team stay competitive. Her 17 points was tied for a team-high and while she hoisted up a lot of shots, it was needed for a team that was looking for any kind of look late in the shot clock on almost every possession. It is important that Reaves improves on her assist numbers, but having a consistent three-point jumper is her number one priority for the rest of the season.

"We knew coming into the game that they were going to be a very aggressive, physical team," Reaves said. "We knew they were going to trap all over the court.  We just have to do a better job of being poised and under control.  At times we showed it but the times we didn't they capitalized on it, and that's what good teams do.  We can't make those types of mental mistakes because good teams capitalize them."

3. Kayla Cook, 8 -- Kayla is your definition of a streaky shooter. Some nights she has it and some nights she doesn't. Against Georgetown, Cook struggled to get going in the first half but her onslaught of three-pointers made near the end of the game nearly brought UC back to win. Whether its is Elliott's instruction or Cook's demeanor she seems to not worry about the last play and continue to have confidence in her shot as the game progresses. Her 10 points tonight were key down the stretch and her eight rebounds was a team-high. It's good to see her get involved more via rebounds versus just settling for jump shots, but she needs to be more aggressive and demand the ball from her teammates to help contribute game-in-and-game-out.

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