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The University of Cincinnati begins its third season of BIG EAST Conference play when it travels to South Orange, N.J. to take on the Seton Hall Pirates on Jan. 5, 2008 at 2 p.m. The Bearcats are coming off a 71-57 road victory against Tennessee Tech on Dec. 29, 2007. The Bearcats will try to win its first BIG EAST road game since Jan. 23, 2007 (80-62 over Georgetown) and it first back-to-back road games since Feb. 1, 2006 (77-58 over Seton Hall and 59-43 win at Syracuse on Jan. 21, 2006).
Four UC players are averaging double figures, led by junior forward Kahla Roudebush's 16.7 points a game. Jill Stephens pulls down a team-high 10.8 rebounds a game and Carla Jacobs is the team leader with 4.4 assists a game. Stephens became the first Cincinnati women's basketball player to be named the BIG EAST Player of the Week after averaging 23.0 points and 11.5 rebounds a game for the week ending Dec. 17.
Cincinnati head coach J. Kelley Hall is one win shy of notching 300 career wins as a head coach. He is now 299-121 overall and is five wins away from the 100 victory mark at the NCAA Division I level. He is 95-65 overall as head coach at the NCAA Division I level.
The Bearcats return home for two games, taking on Georgetown in a 2 p.m. matchup on Tuesday, Jan. 8 and Pittsburgh at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12. Both games are BIG EAST Conference contests.
LAST TIME OUT:
Kahla Roudebush scored 18 points to lead UC to a 71-57 victory over host Tennessee Tech at Hooper Eblen Center.
UC had three players play 40 minutes and five finish in double figure scoring with Jill Stephens adding 16 and Tenishia Benson, Angel Morgan and Carla Jacobs each adding 11 points.
Emy Ogide grabbed five rebounds in the first stanza and Roudebush finished the game taking an impressive three charges.
The Bearcats outrebounded the Golden Eagles 43-25 for the game and shot a season-high 54.2% from the floor, overcoming a season-high 25 turnovers for the victory.
ABOUT SETON HALL: The Pirates are 9-2 overall and most recently won the San Diego Surf `N Slam tournament with victories over Quinnipiac and Western Michigan. SHU is riding a five-game win streak and junior Noteisha Womack, the team's leading rebounder with 11.9 boards a game, was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week (Dec. 31) after being named the MVP of the Surf `N Slam tourney. Womack scored a career-high 26 points in the championship game and averaged 19.5 poitns, 13.5 rebounds and three steals in the tournament. Seton Hall's top scorer is Ela Mukosiej, who scored 15 points in last year's victory over the Bearcats. Mukosiej averages 12.1 points a game and has dished out a team-high 34 assists. Head coach Phyllis Mangina is in her 23rd season with the Pirates and is 322-320 overall.
BEARCATS BITS: The 2007-08 Bearcats return nine letterwinners and three starters from last season's squad that finished 15-14 overall and 6-10 in the BIG EAST Conference. Of the letterwinners returning for the Bearcats, junior guard/forward Shelly Bellman, one of UC's top returning players with a 10.4 points per game average last year, is out for the 2007-08 season with a leg injury. Senior forward Emy Ogide made her return to the hardwood against Wright State but missed the first seven games. Junior guard Angel Morgan is working back to full speed after an injury in the game against Michigan.
BIG FIRST IN THE BIG EAST: Junior forward Jill Stephens earned the BIG EAST Player of the Week award for the week ending Dec. 17. Stephens is the first UC player to be named the BIG EAST Women's Basketball Player of the Week since the Bearcats joined the league in 2005-06. Stephens led Cincinnati in scoring and rebounding in home victories over Wright State (73-66) on Dec. 11 and Youngstown State (79-56) on Dec. 15. Stephens played the entire game against Wright State, the fourth time she has been called on to do so this season, and scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds. She scored a game-high 27 points and notched her fourth double-double of the season with 14 rebounds against Youngstown State. She finished the game with career highs in points (27), field goals (11), field goal attempts (19), 3-point field goals made and attempted (5-of-6) and assists (4).
BIG EAST HONOR ROLL: Junior forward Jill Stephens was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll for the week ending Nov. 26, as announced by the league office. Stephens started both the McNeese State and Duquesne games, averaging 14.0 ppg, 17.0 rpg, and shooting 9-of-10 from the free throw line. Stephens pulled down 22 rebounds -- 14 of them offensive -- in the McNeese State game, earning third place in the UC record books for total rebounds in a game and tying a Fifth Third Arena record with 14 offensive boards. She recorded her second double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds vs. Duquesne. Freshman guard Tenishia Benson was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll for the week ending Nov. 18, as announced by the league office. Benson earned her first start against Valparaiso and showed no rookie jitters. She finished the game with a game-high 25 points and was perfect from the free throw line (11-11). Additionally, Benson started the second half against Michigan and finished the game with 11 points and seven rebounds. The last UC freshman to lead the team in scoring in her first collegiate start was Shelly Bellman (15 points in 74-39 victory over St. Francis on Nov. 19, 2005).
STREAKIN': Kahla Roudebush has connected on 12 consecutive free throws and has made 24 of her last 26 attempts at the charity stripe.
SUPER STEPHENS: Junior forward Jill Stephens has recorded five double-doubles this season and currently leads the team in rebounding with a 10.8 boards a game. She is second on the team with 16.1 points a game and her 22 rebounds against McNeese State was the second best rebounding performance in the country through Dec. 16 (tied with Courtney Paris of Oklahoma).
BENSON BRINGS IT: Freshman guard Tenishia Benson has made significant contributions for UC, earning her first start against Valparaiso and scoring a game-high 25 points. She snapped Valerie King's streak of 21 free throws made in 2002-03 by landing her first 27 attempts over the first six games of the season. Benson finished the McNeese State game with her first double-double of the year, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, and at Dayton she recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. She scored 11 points, seven in the last two minutes, in the win at Xavier. Benson scored 15 points and started a new streak at the free throw line, connecting on 5-of-5 against Wright State. Against Central Michigan Benson put together a balanced game, scoring 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for her third double-double of the year.
FROM DOWNTOWN: The Bearcats have landed 92 three pointers this year and average 7.6 treys a game. With 16 regular season games left in 2007-08, if UC maintains its current average per game it will finish easily within the top-5 in the school record book for three-pointers made in a season (157 is fifth).
EXTREME STAMINA: Three players went the distance at Tennessee Tech. Jill Stephens played her third consecutive and seventh overall 40-minute game while Kahla Roudebush played her third consecutive and fourth 40-minute game. Carla Jacobs played her second consecutive and third full game. Both Tenishia Benson and Natasha Graboski have played 40 minute games for UC as well.
HELPING HAND: Cincinnati handed out a season-high 21 assists in the victory over Youngstown State. UC's 21 helpers were the most since the last game of the 2006-07 season against Pittsburgh (March 3, 2007). The Bearcats had only 11 turnovers for the game against the Chippewas, the lowest since recording seven against Syracuse on Feb. 26, 2007.
WINDOW WIPERS: The Bearcats will focus heavily on rebounding this year and are off to a good start, outrebounding opponents, 536-392. UC grabbed 60 rebounds against McNeese State, the third highest rebounding performance in school history, and followed it up with a 54-rebound game against Presbyterian. The Bearcats have won eight of the 10 games that they have outrebounded their opponents.
FINE AT THE LINE: The Bearcats have connected on 151-of-199 attempts for a .759 percentage at the charity stripe. Freshman Tenishia Benson was an outstanding 11-for-11 from the line in the win over Valparaiso and followed up that performance by going 9-for-9 against Duquesne. The Bearcats did not miss at the line against McNeese State, going 10-for-10 as a team and tying the school record of 100% from the free throw line. The 2003-04 team was perfect from the line twice in 2003, landing 11-for-11 against Indiana State and going 14-for-14 against Loyola Marymount. UC hit 15-of-18 at the line against YSU, shooting 83.3% as a team and made its last six consecutive free throws at Tennessee Tech.
PF PER GAME: Cincinnati's personal fouls per game average is 13.1. In games through Dec. 16, UC had the second best personal fouls per game average in the nation. Against Tennessee Tech UC had a season-high 19 fouls but have only had someone foul out of a game four times this season and have committed only 157 fouls so far as a team. Through the first 12 games last season, UC had 221 fouls as a team.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Cincinnati's 73-66 victory over Wright State was the 1000th game played in women's basketball history at UC. The Bearcats are now 536-466 overall in their 37th season of play.
PROTECTING THE BALL: After averaging 20.5 turnovers a game in the first two exhibition games, UC has done a much better job protecting the ball over the last 12 games, committing only 15.4 turnovers a game.