Women's Basketball |
Feb. 9, 2008
Box Score |
CINCINNATI -- Kahla Roudebush (Noblesville, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) scored a career-high 25 points and Natasha Graboski (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) pitched in a career-high 17 points leading the University of Cincinnati (11-12, 2-9) to a 74-67 win over the University of South Florida (12-11, 2-8) at Fifth Third Arena on Saturday. The Bearcats snapped an eight-game losing streak with the victory.
"I thought our players gave us a solid 40 minutes today and I'm glad we could get the win," said head coach J. Kelley Hall. "We got off to a terrific start and they did what we told them to do at the half, which was extend the defense and not let them (USF) shoot the three. Kahla (Roudebush) was phenomenal today and Natasha (Graboski) had a career day too. I'm glad our players were rewarded for their efforts with a win."
The Bearcats sported pink uniforms on what was dubbed as UC's Think Pink day, to raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer. Graboski won the tip and Cincinnati opened the game with an explosive 13-0 run that included connecting on its first five shot attempts. It was the best start for UC since a 16-0 start against Presbyterian College on Nov. 26, 2007. The Bulls put two points on the board at the 15:20 mark of the first half and UC outscored USF 14-12 over the next five minutes, making the score 27-14. USF pulled within seven, 31-24, at the 5:18 point, and the two teams closed out the half scoring nine each so that the scoreboard read, 40-33, going into the locker room.
Roudebush finished the half with 13 points and five rebounds while Graboski was two-points shy of her career-high, scoring 12 points in the first stanza. The Bearcats shot 53.3% from the floor in the first half and outrebounded the Bulls, 19-13.
USF fired off six unanswered points to start the second half and pulled within one, 40-39, before UC hit two triples to regain a five point edge, 46-39, with 16:33 to play. The Bearcats took a nine point lead with 15:15 to go, 50-41, but the Bulls reacted with a 7-2 run and pulled within four, 52-48, with 13:25 remaining. Neither team scored over the next two minutes until the Bulls landed a basket at the 10:56 mark, bringing the score to 52-50. UC pushed ahead by seven until the Bulls got as close as three on the Bearcats lead, 63-60, with 5:36 left, but Jill Stephens (Mineral Wells, W.Va./Parkersburg South) put UC up, 66-60, when she landed a 3-pointer with 4:22 to go. Roudebush followed Stephen's trey up with a 3-pointer of her own, giving her a new career-high in points and giving UC a seven point edge and enough momentum for the Bearcats to earn the victory.
The Bearcats and Bulls were matched on the final stat sheet in rebounds, 38-38, and in nearly all statistical categories. UC shot 18-for-19 at the free throw line for the fourth-best free throw percentage in school history in a game (94.7%) as Stephens, Roudebush, Carla Jacobs (Cleveland, Ohio/Regina) and Tenishia Benson (Akron, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban) were each perfect from the line. Stephens finished the game with 12 points and eight rebounds for the Bearcats.
Shantia Grace poured in 27 points for USF while Jazmine Sepulveda and ChiChi Okpaleke scored 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Cincinnati gets a week off before heading to Villanova on Saturday, Feb. 16 in a BIG EAST contest at 2 p.m.