CINCINNATI -- Kahla Roudebush (Noblesville, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) scored 19 points for the University of Cincinnati (10-10, 1-7) but the Bearcats lost at Fifth Third Arena on Wednesday, 79-56, to Louisville (14-7, 3-5).
"I thought we came out focused and ready to play at the start," said head coach J. Kelley Hall. "They cranked it up and pushed a little harder and we were down 18 at the half. That's just too much to overcome against a good BIG EAST team. "
Cincinnati jumped out to a 6-1 lead off of two fastbreak baskets, but Louisville bounced back, going on a 6-0 run and holding a 7-6 edge with 16:19 to go in the first half. The Cardinals pushed ahead by four, at 12-8, before Roudebush landed a three for the Bearcats and to narrow the margin to one, 12-11, with 13:14 to go in the half.
Powered by three 3-pointers, UofL went on an 18-4 run over the next eight minutes and took a commanding 32-15 lead with 6:58 left in the first stanza. UC scored seven unanswered points to pull within 10, at 32-22, with 4:24 remaining, but UofL closed out the half on a 17-7 run -- including a half-court shot at the buzzer -- to take a 47-29 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
Roudebush led UC with 15 points and Jill Stephens (Mineral Wells, W.Va./Parkersburg South) pulled down six rebounds in the first half, but UC gave up 18 points in the paint and UofL scored 15 points off of turnovers. Angel McCoughtry poured in 19 points for the Cardinals in the first half.
UC opened the half on a 5-0 run to bring the score to 47-34 with 18:12 to play but the Cardinals reacted with 11 unanswered points to take a 24 point advantage, 60-36, with 13:13 to go. The Bearcats went on a 5-0 run but UofL responded with a 6-0 run to go ahead, 69-42, at the 8:45 mark of the half. The two teams played a close game the final eight minutes of the game but the Cardinals finished with a 79-56 victory.
The Bearcats were outrebounded, 44-25, and gave up 34 points in the paint for the game. The Cardinals scored 29 points off of UC's 22 turnovers and were led in scoring by McCoughtry, who finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Chauntise Wright scored 17 points while Candyce Bingham added 10 for UofL.
Cincinnati remains at home to take on No. 20/20 Notre Dame on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 3 p.m. on Ring of Red day. The game takes place after the men's team plays Marquette at noon and fans with a ticket to the men's game will be admitted for free to the women's game.