Feb. 28, 2014
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THE GAME: The University of Cincinnati women’s basketball team will face off with the Louisville Cardinals Saturday afternoon in the final home game of the season.
THE SERIES: Saturday’s contest will wrap up the season series between the Bearcats and Cardinals. Louisville earned a 64-45 win in the first meeting, making it five straight wins over UC. .
LAST TIME OUT:
- Alyesha Lovett’s coast-to-coast lay-up with less than one second remaining capped a come-from-behind, 50-49 win for the University of Cincinnati women’s basketball team over UCF Saturday.
- The Bearcats were able to erase a nine-point deficit over the final four minutes and 21 seconds of the contest, capped by Lovett’s last-second heroics.
- Cincinnati found themselves down five with 2:22 remaining before Cook connected again from three-point range to bring UC within one score for the first time since the 5:25 mark of the first half.
- With 37 seconds remaining and still trailing by two, the Bearcats had a pair of golden opportunities to take the lead but both shots rolled off the rim and UCF collected the rebound.
- However, Jasmine Whitfield swiped the ball away before the Knights even made it across half court giving UC a third chance at tying the game.
- This time the Bearcats would not be denied as Lovett laid it in and was fouled, hitting the free throw putting UC up 48-47 with 22 seconds left.
- Jeanise Randolph nearly recorded the steal on the ensuing UCF possession, but the Knights recovered and Sara Djassi hit a jumper with six seconds left.
- Lovett then raced the full length of the court, hitting the game winner with less than one second on the clock. UCF fumbled the inbounds pass and UC escaped with the one-point victory.
- Four Bearcats reached double digits in scoring for the first time since the 10th game of the season against Akron on December 17.
- Lovett’s five points over the final 22 seconds gave her 13 for the game.
- Jasmine Whitfield finished with 10 points and tied her career-high rebounding effort with seven.
- Kayla Cook added 10 points, seven of which came in the second half. All four of Cook’s steals also came in the final 20 minutes.
- Randolph rounded out the double-digit scorers, also scoring 10 points and adding seven rebounds. The senior also recorded two assists, two steals and one block.
SCOUTING THE CARDINALS:
- The Cardinals enter the contest with a 27-2 overall record and a 15-1 mark in conference play.
- The Cardinals only two losses this season have come to No. Kentucky back on Dec. 1 and against top-ranked UConn on Feb. 9.
- The Cardinals lead the conference and rank 17 nationally in rebounding margin at +8.6.
- Louisville is also second in the conference and sixth nationally in scoring margin, averaging 21.1 points more per game than opponents.
- Shoni Shimmel leads Louisville in scoring at 17.4 points per game. The senior is sixth nationally in three-points field goals per game, averaging 3.28. She is shooting 38.2 percent from behind the arc and averaging 3.9 assists per game.
- Asia Taylor and Sara Hammond round out Louisville’s double-digit scorers with each averaging 11.3 points per game.
- Shimmel, Taylor and Hammond are the only Cardinals to start every game this season.
- Louisville averaged 81.3 points per game while holding opponents to 60.2
- With two games remaining, Cincinnati could finish either sixth, seventh or eighth in the final conference standings. To finish sixth, UC will need wins over Louisville and Memphis combined with at least one Temple loss. A win over Memphis will lock up the seventh seed for the Bearcats. In order to finish seventh with a loss to Memphis , the Bearcats would need a win over Louisville and a Memphis loss to Houston.
- Jeanise Randolph earned a pair of weekly honors for the second time this season. The senior forward earned both American Athletic Conference and College Sports Madness Player of the Week honors after averaging 18.5 points and 10 rebounds during two UC wins last week. She previously earned both awards following a double-double against Ohio State.
- Kayla Cook currently ranks sixth on UC’s all-time three-pointers made list with 145 and trails Madinah Slaise for fifth place (146) by one. Cook is also fifth on the all-time minutes played list with 3,683. She trails Cheryl Cook (3,714) in fifth place by 31 minutes.
- During conference play Cincinnati ranks second in scoring defense (58.5), fourth in field-goal percentage defense (39.1) and third in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (27.3). Eight conference opponents have been held to 41 percent shooting or lower. Only four opponents have shot better than 27 percent from three-point range.
- Cincinnati has used 11 different starting lineups this season with 10 different Bearcats making starts. Alyesha Lovett and Kayla Cook are the only players to start every game.
- Jeanise Randolph tied the single-game blocks record against Louisville on Jan. 4 swatting six shots against the Cardinals. The total tied Bev Obringer who had six blocks against Southern Miss on Jan. 28, 1989. Randolph’s 29 blocks this season rank her 10th on the single-season list. With eight more blocks Randolph could move as high as third on the list.
- Since losing leading-scorer Dayeesha Hollins for the season due to a knee injury, Jasmine Whitfield has stepped up her production averaging 7.9 points per game, a improvement of 5.1 ppg. Whitfield has totaled at least five points in the last eight games and three times has reached double digits.
- The Cincinnati defense is holding opponents an average of 13.3 points below their season scoring pace. Cincinnati held No. 1 UConn 19.3 points below their scoring average in their first meeting this season. No. 7 Louisville was limited to 25.6 points below their scoring pace. Overall UC has limited 14 opponents to double-digits below their scoring average, including nine in conference play.