Bearcats Bounce USF in First-Round Upset

March 5, 2010

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HARTFORD, Conn. - Kahla Roudebush (Noblesville, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) scored a game-high 19 points to lead the University of Cincinnati women's basketball team to a 63-51 win against USF in the first round of the BIG EAST Championship on Friday night in the XL Center.

Shareese Ulis (Toledo, Ohio/Trinity Valley C.C.) added 17 and Shanasa Sanders (Jacksonville, Fla./Ribault Senior) chipped in 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds to help the 14th-seeded Bearcats (12-17) to the first-round upset.

KeNeisha Saunders led the Bulls (15-15) with 14 points and six rebounds.

The Beacats have won two straight BIG EAST Championship first-round matchups, defeating Marquette, 60-54, in the 2009 tournament before falling in the second round to USF.

Roudebush, who was honored on court prior to the game for her selection to the all-BIG EAST second team, came out on fire. She hit three of her first four shots, including a pair of threes early in the first.

After falling behind 2-0 and 4-2, the Bearcats used a 14-6 spurt to take a 16-10 lead on Roudebush's second three. The lead swelled to 28-20 on a Daress McClung (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) layup with 4:13 to play in the half.

Ulis drove to her left and scored on a layup while being fouled. She completed the three-point play to give the Bearcats a 10-point lead - its largest of the half - going into the lockerroom at 36-26.

USF scored the first five points of the second half, all by Saunders, but UC answered with an 8-3 run of its own to push the lead back to double digits at 44-34 with 14:14 to go.



The Bulls twice cut the lead to six and were threatening after a 4-0 run made it 51-45 with 7:12 remaining. USF didn't score again until the 1:40 mark after an 11-0 run for Cincinnati, placing the Bearcats in firm control. UC shot 18-of-24 from the free throw line, including 6-of-8 during the deciding run.

The Bearcats shot 40 percent from the floor and outrebounded the taller Bulls, 35-28. Jessica Lawson, USF's first-team all-BIG EAST center, tallied just eight points and six rebounds, thanks to suffocating defense from Michelle Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) and the rest of UC's frontcourt. Lawson came into the game averaging 14.4 points and 10.7 rebounds per contest and posted 17 double-doubles during the regular season, including 22 points and 12 rebounds against Cincinnati on Jan. 30.

Jones finished with six points and four rebounds in 31 minutes.

The Bearcats advance to play No. 6 seed Rutgers on Saturday night at 8 p.m. The Scarlet Knights earned a 44-33 win in Piscataway, N.J., on Jan. 16 this season.