No. 2/3 Notre Dame Hands Cincinnati Road Loss
Alyesha Lovett

Feb. 2, 2013

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The University of Cincinnati women’s basketball team limited Notre Dame to 36.4 percent (8-for-22) shooting during the second half of Saturday’s BIG EAST contest, but couldn’t overcome a 22-point half-time deficit as the Fighting Irish earned a 64-42 victory.

Kayla Cook (South Webster, Ohio / South Webster) led the Bearcats with a season-high 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting. The junior guard hit two long-distance shots in the contest, making her 4-for-9 from behind the arc in UC’s last two games.

Alyesha Lovett (Newark, N.J. / Malcolm X Shabazz) shattered her career-high assist total, dishing out six in the contest. The sophomore guard also tied a career-high in steals (4) while contributing six points. Lesha Dunn (Toronto, Ontario / Trinity Valley Community College) added seven points and pulled down a team-best five rebounds.

Overall, UC finished shooting 35.3 percent (18-of-51) from the floor while Notre Dame hit 50 percent (24-of-48) of their shots. Cincinnati out-shot Notre Dame 48 percent to 36 percent during the final 20 minutes. Notre Dame held a 38-24 edge in rebounds, leading to a 16-9 edge in second-chance points.

The Bearcats were plagued by a 23.1 percent (6-of-26) shooting effort in the first half, while the Fighting Irish fired at a clip just over 61 percent (16-of-26). UC’s slow start on offense allowed Notre Dame to open the contest with a 10-0 run. Kayla McBride added six points during the spurt.

The junior guard went on to score 11 of her game-high 19 points in the first half as Notre Dame used a 17-2 run to push the lead to a 31-10 advantage. Cincinnati added a jumper from Alexis Durley (Houston, Texas / Andy Dekaney) and a three from Cook before the half to head into the break trailing 37-15.

UC found its offensive rhythm early in the second half, opening the final stanza on an 8-2 run. Chelsea Jamison (Indianapolis, Ind. / Broad Ripple) added two jumpers while steals from Cook and Lovett lead to four more UC points. The spurt cut Notre Dame’s advantage to 39-23 with 17:42 left on the clock.

However, Notre Dame answered with a jumper from Natalie Achonwa and treys from Skylar Diggins and Kaila Turner to push the Irish’s lead back to 47-23. The scoring eventually evened out at 27 for each squad during the second half as Notre Dame earned the 64-42 win over the Bearcats.

UC returns home Tuesday, February 5 when the Bearcats host Syracuse in a BIG EAST contest marked for a 7 p.m. tip off.