Bearcats Fall To No. 5 Rutgers

Jan. 22, 2008

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CINCINNATI - Kahla Roudebush (Noblesville, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) scored 14 points for the University of Cincinnati (10-8, 1-5) but the Bearcats lost, 71-41, to No. 5/5 Rutgers (16-2, 6-0) on Tuesday evening at Fifth Third Arena.

Relying on a versatile offense and a stifling defense, Rutgers has won its last 11 games, its best streak since it ran off 13 in a row in 2005-06. The Scarlet Knights are off to their best start overall in 17 years.

"We just wanted to keep the momentum on our side in the second half and keep them down," said Rutgers' Kia Vaughn, who finished the game with a season-high 17 points and 21 rebounds.

In the second half, they swatted them away. Cincinnati missed 21 of its first 22 shots and went only 3-of-28 from the field in the final 20 minutes.

"After halftime, they decided they weren't even going to let us look at the basket," Bearcats coach J. Kelley Hall said.

Kahla Roudebush led a 3-point barrage that kept it close until Rutgers' defense clamped down in the second half, turning a 13-point lead into a 57-33 advantage. Roudebush, one of the league's top 3-point shooters, finished with 14 points. Cincinnati shot only 23 percent overall from the field.

The Bearcats aren't shy about shooting away from behind the arc, but couldn't do much more than that against one of the nation's top defenses. Rutgers ranks second nationally, allowing only 48.8 points per game.

Given their high expectations, the Scarlet Knights worry more about meeting their high standards. Following a 70-55 win over Louisville on Sunday, Stringer fumed about her team's effort and its 20 turnovers.

Two days later, there was less reason to fret.

The Scarlet Knights had only four turnovers while pulling ahead 41-28 in the first half. The Bearcats led for 46 seconds at the outset, hitting four of their first eight shots to gain a little confidence. It quickly got crushed.

Zurich, a junior forward, made a 12-foot jumper, a 3-pointer, a layup and another 3 during a 19-8 spurt that put Rutgers in control 25-13. The Bearcats never got closer than five points the rest of the half.

Then, the Scarlet Knights pulled away by holding Cincinnati to one field goal and four free throws in the first 14 minutes of the second half.