Cincinnati Travels To Syracuse

Feb. 22, 2008

Story lines

• Cincinnati travels to New York to take on No. 22/24 Syracuse in a BIG EAST tilt on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. at the Carrier Dome. The Orange will serve as UC's sixth ranked opponent of the 2007-08 season.

• The Bearcats are coming off an 82-63 loss against No. 13/13 West Virginia on Tuesday, Feb. 19. Cincinnati landed a school-record 13 three pointers, the second time this season UC has matched the school-best 13 triples in a game (McNeese State, Nov. 21). West Virginia also hit 13 three pointers in the game, setting a new Fifth Third Arena record for an opponent (previous record was 12 by Saint Louis, Jan. 27, 1995).

• UC's 13 three-pointers against West Virginia pushed its season total from downtown to 183, setting a new school record for three-pointers made in a season. The previous record was earned by the 2003-04 team, which connected on 177 treys in 31 games.

• Two UC players are averaging double figures, led by redshirt-sophomore Kahla Roudebush's 16.6 points a game. Junior forward Jill Stephens averages a team-high 9.2 rebounds a game and has collected eight double-doubles this year, the most a UC player has grabbed in a season since Debbie Merrill tallied 11 double-doubles during the 2002-03 season.

• Cincinnati is 7-54 overall against ranked teams and earned its last victory over a ranked team on Jan. 14, 2007 when it defeated No. 24/24 DePaul, 62-44 at home. The last road win UC garnered against a ranked team came on Jan. 31, 1999 when the Bearcats defeated No. 18 Tulane, 70-51.


• Meg Bulger scored 20 points Tuesday night, scoring inside and outside in a balanced offense that carried No. 13 West Virginia to an 82-63 victory over Cincinnati.



• The Mountaineers made a season-high 13 3-pointers and set a Fifth Third Arena record for 3-pointers made by an opponent. The Mountaineers finished with five players in double figures forced 20 turnovers by the Bearcats.

Kahla Roudebush scored 22 for Cincinnati, which has lost 10 of its last 11 games. The Bearcats tied their school record by making 13 3-pointers in 24 tries, but managed only eight points in the paint, giving up 26 to the Mountaineers.

• There were three ties and six lead changes in the first half. UC kept it close by hitting 3's -- 11 of the Bearcats' first 12 shots came from behind the arc, and seven of them went in.

• A 13-0 run that closed the half and put WVU up 46-34. After its opening flurry, Cincinnati went only 2-of-13 from the field the rest of the half.

• Olayinka Sanni, who leads the Mountaineers with 16.8 points per game, picked up her fourth foul with 16:53 left, and Cincinnati started taking the ball inside for the first time. Emy Ogide's layup cut it to 58-52, but the Bearcats got no closer.

• A steal and a pair of layups completed a 13-4 run for WVU and built the lead to 71-56 with 7:30 to go. Cincinnati never threatened again. Tenishia Benson and Carla Jacobs each chipped in 10 points for the Bearcats while Jill Stephens led the way with seven rebounds.

ABOUT SYRACUSE: No. 22/24 Syracuse is 19-6 overall and 7-5 in BIG EAST play and is coming off its first back-to-back losses of the 2007-08 season after falling 62-58 at Providence on Tuesday and 79-67 against No. 16/16 Notre Dame on Feb. 16. The Orange are having a spectacular season, recording 19 wins for the first time since the 1987-88 season, earning its first ranking in the AP Poll and securing an above .500 overall record for only the second time in 18 years (1989-90). SU has four players that score in double figures, led by junior guard Chandrea Jones' 15.4 points a game. Senior forward Fantasia Goodwin pulls down a team-high 9.1 rebounds a game for the Orange, which averages 44.4 offensive rebounds a game as a team (second in the BIG EAST). Second year head coach Quentin Hillsman is 28-26 overall Syracuse.

AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Cincinnati is 7-54 overall against ranked teams. West Virginia, ranked No. 131/3, was the fifth ranked opponent UC faced this season (No. 20/20 Notre Dame, DePaul, No. 25 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll on Jan. 26, No. 1/1 Connecticut on Jan. 19 and No. 5/5 Rutgers on Jan. 22). Prior to the loss at UConn, the highest ranked team UC played (since 1990) was No. 3 Georgia on Dec. 13, 1990. The Bearcats lost, 99-38. Cincinnati's last win against a ranked team came on Jan. 14, 2007 when it defeated No. 24/24 DePaul, 62-44 at home. The last road win UC has earned against a ranked team came on Jan. 31, 1999 when the Bearcats defeated No. 18 Tulane, 70-51.

ON TV: The Bearcats played their sixth game on television and their second straight TV game when they took the court against USF. Cincinnati is 3-3 when playing on television, with wins against Valaparaiso (W, 96-69), at Xavier (W, 61-55) and USF (W, 74-67), and losing at Louisville (L, 69-37), at UConn (L, 86-49) and at Marquette (L, 72-65).

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.

ACADEMICALLY: Junior forward Jill Stephens was selected by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) to the 2007-08 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV women's basketball second team. Stephens earned a 4.0 grade point average last quarter and holds a 3.95 overall GPA as a Communication Sciences and Disorders major. She is the first UC women's basketball player to earn CoSIDA Academic All-District honors since 1998, when Stephanie Geter and Jolinda Lewis were named to the first team.

POSTGRADUATE: Jill Stephens was selected as a 2007-08 BIG EAST/Aéropostale Institutional Female Scholar-Athlete award winner, providing her $2,000 toward graduate studies. A winner was selected from each of the 16 BIG EAST institutions with an overall winner earning a $4,000 scholarship. The selections were made by the BIG EAST's Academic Affairs Committee, who named Syracuse track & field All-American Jillian Drouin as the BIG EAST Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

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 HONORS: Redshirt-sophomore Kahla Roudebush was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll after her performance during the week of January 7th. The sharp-shooter averaged 21 points a game, grabbed an average of 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and connected on 7-for 16 from downtown in the games against Georgetown (W, 69-49) and Pittsburgh (L, 86-61).

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 connected on 17 consecutive free throws starting against Central Michigan and not missing until the second half of the Georgetown game. She has made 55 of her last 72 (76.3 percent) attempts at the charity stripe (since Xavier game on Dec. 1, 2007).

SUPER STEPHENS: Junior forward Jill Stephens has recorded eight double-doubles this season and currently leads the team with 9.2 rebounds a game. Her 22 rebounds against McNeese State is tied for the seventh best rebounding performance in the country (in games through Feb. 17th).

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 against Wright State and had a balanced game against Central Michigan, scoring 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for her third double-double of the year. Benson dropped in 10 points against Georgetown, shooting 5-for-6 at the charity stripe. At UConn, Benson scored seven points and handed out three assists and she pulled down five boards against Rutgers. Against WVU, Benson broke out of a scoring slump and poured in 10 points, her most productive output in 11 games.

FROM DOWNTOWN: The Bearcats have landed 183 three-pointers this year and average 7.32 treys a game -- third best in the BIG EAST. In the 25th game of the season, against West Virginia, UC hit nine three pointers in the first half, setting a new school record for 3-pointers made in a season. The previous record of 177, set during the 2003-04 season, was earned in 31 games. UC currently has 183 3-pointers as a team this seaon.

EXTREME STAMINA: Jill Stephens played her fourth consecutive 40-minute game at Seton Hall and her 10th overall 40-minute game against USF. Kahla Roudebush played her third consecutive 40-minute game at Tennessee Tech and fifth 40-minute game against Georgetown. Carla Jacobs played her second consecutive full game at Tennessee Tech and her fifth full game against USF. Both Tenishia Benson and Natasha Graboski have played 40 minute games for UC as well this season. In the BIG EAST statistics, four of UC's starters are ranked in the Top 30 in minutes played, with Stephens logging the most minutes a game in the league (37.40) and Roudebush playing the fourth most (35.20).

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).

WINDOW WIPERS: The Bearcats focus heavily on rebounding and are outrebounding opponents, 944-896. 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 10 of the 14 games that they have outrebounded their opponents.

FINE AT THE LINE: The Bearcats have connected on 288-of-396 attempts for a .727 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. Against USF, Cincinnati was 18-for-19 from the line (tied for fourth, 94.7%) with four of the fiver players who went to the line shooting perfect. UC's current percentage of 72.7 from the charity stripe would rank fourth in the school record book if the season were to end today.

PF PER GAME: Cincinnati's personal fouls per game average is 13.4. In games through Feb. 17th, UC had the sixth best personal fouls per game average in the nation (13.4 pfpg). At Tennessee Tech, UC had a season-high 19 fouls and at Marquette they matched that total, but somone has fouled out only seven times this season. UC has committed only 335 fouls so far as a team. Through the first 25 games last season, UC had 441 fouls as a team.

STANDING GROUND: In two consecutive games, redshirt-sophomore guard Kahla Roudebush took four charges, three coming at Tennessee Tech and one at Seton Hall. She stood ground three times against USF. Natasha Graboski took two charges at Villanova and repeated that performance against WVU, standing ground twice.

LAST TIME AGAINST SYRACUSE (2-26-07): UC secured its No. 11 seed in the BIG EAST Championship with a 59-54 win over Syracuse on senior night at Fifth Third Arena. It was UC's seniors that stepped up and enjoyed a magical night. Senior Karen Twehues scored a team-high 14 points, all in the first half, and UC's other senior, Treasure Humphries, took over in the second half with 11 points, giving her 1,001 in her career. She also posted a career-high 12 rebounds for her second career double-double.

After scorching the nets in the first half, the Orange cooled down to shoot just 35 percent. After being down by as many as 11 in the first period and down eight at the half, the Bearcats barreled back with a 7-0 run to start the second stanza and pulled ahead, 29-28, with 17:22 to play in the game. There were four ties and 13 lead changes in eight minutes of action before UC took the lead for good at the 9:14 mark of the second period.

UC took its largest lead of the game - seven, 52-45 - with 2:27 left in the game. The Orange rallied to pull with three, 57-54 with 20 seconds to play, but freshman Carla Jacobs (5-of-6) and Humphries (1-of-2) combined for six free throws in the final 53 seconds to help put the game away.

UC had just seven turnovers in the game, a season-low and won for only the second time this season when trailing at the half.

SWATTING GUARD: Sophomore point guard Carla Jacobs is second on the team with 11 blocks. Jacobs's 11 blocks is more than a UC player tallied during the 2006-07 season. The 5-7 floor general is second behind center Natasha Graboski, who has swatted 16 shots this season -- the most a UC player has blocked in a season since Anne Stephens' 22 during the 2005-06 season.

10 TREYS: Cincinnati has knocked down 10 or more three-pointers in a game seven times this season, winning all but one time they have connected in double-digits from downtown. The Bearcats hit a season-high - and school record - 13 triples against McNeese State and matched that in an 82-63 loss to No. 13/13 West Virginia. The school record (13) was set in the second game of the season last year against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Nov. 14, 2006.

BENCH PRODUCTIVITY: Against Georgetown, Cincinnati had zero points from bench players. UC has had less than five points from bench players five times this year (Xavier, Wright State, Seton Hall, Georgetown and Marquette), winning three of the five games. At No. 25 DePaul, UC had a whopping 37 points from bench players with Stephanie Stevens scoring a career and game-high 16 points and Kristi Brogan chipping in 10. Only three starters scored against the Blue Demons, combining for a total of 14 points.

PROTECTING THE BALL: After averaging 20.5 turnovers a game in the two exhibition games, UC has done a much better job protecting the ball in regular season play, committing 17.0 turnovers a game. At Marquette, UC had its most turnovers in a game this season, committing 27 turnovers.

TRIPLE TIME: Redshirt sophomore Kahla Roudebush is currently in 10th place in the school record book for 3-pointers made in a career (68). If she can make three more three pointers she will move into sixth place, surpassing Merelenea Dozier, who landed 70 career treys from 2000-03. The school record for 3-point field goals made in a career is 338, set by Valerie King who played from 2001-04. Roudebush's season total of 59 ties for ninth in the school record book for triples made in a season.

HOT IN A HALF: UC shot over 50 percent (53.3) from the floor in the first half in the victory over USF. In the first half the Bearcats shot over 60 percent (66.7) in the loss at Marquette. UC had hot shooting in one half seven times this year, winning against Valparaiso (57.6 in the second half), defeating Duquesne in overtime (50.0 in the second half), winning against Wright State (66.7 in the first half), defeating Tennessee Tech on the road (50.0 in the first, 61.1 in the second half) and in the loss at Villanova (52.2 in the second half).

CITY STREAK: Cincinnati has landed a basket from downtown in 38 consecutive games. The last time UC finished a game without connecting on a 3-pointer was against No. 24 DePaul on Jan. 14, 2007 at Fifth Third Arena. The Bearcats launched nine triples that game, but did not hit. They did, however win the game. UC has made 183 three pointers as a team this season.

STARTING STEVENS: Sophomore guard Stephanie Stevens earned her first career start against Louisville on Jan. 30, 2008 after recording a career-high in points (16) at No. 25 DePaul. She finished the game against Louisville with seven points and four assists.

PLAYMAKER: Sophomore guard Carla Jacobs has recorded an assist in all but one game she has played at UC. Jacobs had an assist in every game last year and pushed her streak of handing out an assist in a game to 32 games before playing only 26 minutes against McNeese State in the fourth game of the 2007-08 season and going without a helper. She has since dished out an assist in every game, starting a new streak that now stands at 21 games.