Bearcats Win First BIG EAST Championship Contest in Overtime|
March 6, 2009
HARTFORD, Conn. - Kahla Roudebush (Noblesville, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) led all scorers with 19 points and Jill Stephens (Mineral Wells, W.Va./Parkersburg South) posted her third double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds to lead the University of Cincinnati women's basketball team to a 60-54 overtime victory over Marquette in the first round of the 2009 BIG EAST Championship at the XL Center.
The 16th-seeded Bearcats (14-16) snapped a 12-game losing streak with the win and became just the second No. 16 seed to win in a postseason tournament (men's or women's). No. 16 Harvard upset No. 1 seed Stanford in the 1998 Women's NCAA Tournament.
Roudebush, who was named all-BIG EAST second team on Thursday, finished 8-of-12 from the floor and added four rebounds and four assists to lead the Bearcats (14-16) to their first win in the BIG EAST Championship since joining the league in 2005.
The Bearcats led by as much as 10 in the first half at 23-13 with 6:30 to play in the first half. Marquette (16-15) put together a 12-0 run over the next six minutes of the half to take a 25-23 lead, but Roudebush hit a three at the halftime buzzer to give UC a 26-25 advantage at the break.
Roudebush played at an all-conference level in the first half, hitting on all six field goal attempts, and scoring 14 points.
Marquette scored the first six points of the second half and took a five-point lead. The Bearcats chipped away and retook the lead on a Stephens three-pointer with 8:14 to go. A Stephens layup on the next possession gave UC a three-point cushion at 41-38.
With the game tied at 43, MU used a 6-0 run to take a 49-43 lead with under three minutes to play.
Angel Morgan's (Springfield, Ohio/Springfield North) layup cut the lead to four and a Roudebush free throw drew UC to within three, 49-46, with 48 seconds to go. Shanasa Sanders (Jacksonville, Fla./Ribault Senior) followed a Marquette miss on the next possession with a short jumper to bring UC to within a point at 49-48.
After MU's Tatiyiana Morris split a pair of free throws with 13 seconds to play, Sanders raced down the court for a layup that knotted the score at 50 with seven seconds on the clock.
Marquette turned the ball over after the inbounds pass and UC had a shot with two seconds to go. A three-quarter court pass to Sanders connected, but her 12-footer rimmed out and the game headed to overtime.
UC scored the first four points of the overtime, all by Val Schuster (Wausau, Wis./Wausau Newman Senior), who had gone scoreless to that point. The Bearcats outscored Marquette, 10-4, in the overtime and Sanders and Stephens hit two free throws each with under 25 seconds to play to seal the win.
UC will take on No. 8 seed USF, who defeated the Bearcats, 84-78, on Feb. 28 in Tampa, on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the second round.