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Cincinnati plays its final regular season game of the 2007-08 season at Providence on Monday, March 3 at 7 p.m. The BIG EAST contest is the final game of the season for both teams as neither qualified for the 12-team BIG EAST Championship in Hartford, Conn.
The Bearcats are coming off a 49-47 loss at Fifth Third Arena against St. John's on Saturday, March 1. The game was close, with the lead changing 18 times and the game's largest lead of six going to UC in the first half. The Bearcats tied the game with 33 seconds left but the Red Storm responded with a steal and two free throws to earn the victory.
Cincinnati will attempt to snap a four-game losing streak at Providence and has the opportunity to end the season with a win. The last UC team to end the season with a victory was the 1981-82 squad, which defeated Ohio State 71-70 in the last game of the season.
The 2007-08 Cincinnati women's basketball team holds the school record for 3-pointers made in a season. The Bearcats have made 191 triples so far this season, breaking the previous record of 177 set by the 2003-04 team in 31 games. Two UC players are averaging double figures, led by redshirt-sophomore Kahla Roudebush's 16.3 points a game. Junior forward Jill Stephens averages a team-high 9.4 rebounds a game and has collected nine 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.
LAST TIME OUT:
Tenishia Benson scored 18 points for UC but St. John's scored 16 points off of turnovers and edged out the Bearcats, 49-47, in UC's final regular season home game at Fifth Third Arena on Saturday.
Cincinnati outrebounded St. John's, 45-34, and the Red Storm shot 33.3 percent from the floor, but the Bearcats gave up 16 points off of turnovers and connected on only two 3-pointers as a team. Benson was the only player to score in double figures for UC.
St. John's took an early 8-4 lead. The Bearcats took their first lead, 10-9, with 11:36 to play when Jill Stephens hit a layup. With 8:33 to play, a jumper by Carla Jacobs gave UC a 14-13 advantage. The two teams traded baskets until UC landed six unanswered points to gain a 5-point lead, 20-15, with 5:04 remaining in the first stanza. The Red Storm ended the half on a 5-3 run but Cincinnati went into the locker room with a 23-20 half time lead.
UC opened the second half on a 5-2 run to regain its 5-point lead, 28-23, with 16:52 to go. The Red Storm added full court pressure and forced two turnovers, taking a 32-30 lead off a Kelly McManmon 3-pointer with 14:06 left in the game. Jacobs responded with a 3-pointer and the two teams traded baskets over the final 13 minutes. With the score tied at 47 and 33 seconds remaining on the clock, Kia Wright stole the ball and was fouled with 10 seconds to go. Wright hit both attempts at the charity stripe to give the Red Storm the 49-47 victory.
ABOUT PROVIDENCE: Providence is 12-16 overall and 2-13 in BIG EAST play. The Friars are coming off a 59-52 loss at Georgetown and are currently riding a three-game losing streak. Providence is led in scoring by Kendria Holmes, who averages 11.4 points a game. Mi-Khida Hankins chips in 10.4 points a game while Shantee Darrian pulls down a team-high 8.2 rebounds a game. Head coach Phil Seymore is in his third season at Providence and has a 33-51 overall record.
AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Cincinnati is 7-55 overall against ranked teams. No. 22/24 Syracuse was the sixth ranked opponent UC faced this season (No. 13/13 West Virginia, No. 20/20 Notre Dame, DePaul, No. 25 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, No. 1/1 Connecticut, and No. 5/5 Rutgers). 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 Valparaiso (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 61 of her last 81 (75.3 percent) attempts at the charity stripe (since Xavier game on Dec. 1, 2007).
SUPER STEPHENS: Junior forward Jill Stephens has recorded nine double-doubles this season and currently leads the team with 9.4 rebounds a game. Her 22 rebounds against McNeese State is tied for the seventh best rebounding performance in the country (in games through Feb. 24th).
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. She followed up that performance with 11 points, four rebounds, three assists, and three steals at No. 22/24 Syracuse and in the final home game of her freshman year she led the team with 18 points and nine rebounds - in 40 minutes of action - against St. John's.
FROM DOWNTOWN: The Bearcats have landed 191 three-pointers this year and average 7.07 treys a game. 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.
EXTREME STAMINA: Jill Stephens played her fourth-consecutive 40-minute game at Seton Hall and her 11th overall 40-minute game against USF. Kahla Roudebush played her third consecutive 40-minute game at Tennessee Tech and seventh 40-minute game against St. John's. 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 with Benson logging 40 minutes against St. John's. 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 (37.31) and Roudebush playing the fourth most (35.38).
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, 1026-970. 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 15 games that they have outrebounded their opponents.
FINE AT THE LINE: The Bearcats have connected on 309-of-424 attempts for a .729 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 percent 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 five players who went to the line shooting perfect. UC's current percentage of 72.9 from the charity stripe will tie for third in the school record book.
PF PER GAME: Cincinnati's personal fouls per game average is 13.2. In games through Feb. 24, UC had the fifth 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 348 fouls so far as a team. Through 27 games last season, UC had 466 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 539-480 overall in their 37th season of play.
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. Both Graboski and Roudebush took a charge at No. 22/24 Syracuse.
LAST TIME AGAINST PROVIDENCE (2-6-07): UC defeated Providence, 74-61, in a game that was delayed 90 minutes due to terrible traffic conditions - caused by a winter blast that saw seven inches fall on the Queen City - that the officiating crew got caught in. Five UC players scored in double figures, led by Carla Jacobs and Karen Twehues who each poured in 13 points. Jacobs also dished out a game-high seven assists. Shelly Bellman and Angel Morgan added 11 points and Michelle Jones had 10. Treasure Humphries pulled in a career-high 10 rebounds and added six assists.
When the game finally began, both teams had trouble finding their touch and the first basket wasn't scored until the 16:57 mark on a Michelle Jones jumper. That sparked a 7-0 run by the Bearcats. It took the Friars nearly six minutes to scored their first points and Providence went on a run to cut the lead to 9-7 with 13:24 to play - that's as close as the Friars would ever get. UC never once trailed in the game. UC led by as many as 17 (twice) in the second half. Providence rallied to cut the lead to nine, 68-59, but it was too little too late with just 1:08 left in the contest. The Bearcats sealed the deal, going eight-of-eight from the free throw line in the final minute.
Cincinnati bested Providence in every category. The Bearcats shot better, rebounded better (41-32), had more assists (16-11) and grabbed more steals (7-6). UC outscored the Friars, 12-0 on fast break points and 26-10 on points off turnovers, despite having 17 turnovers to PC's 14. UC's bench also outperformed Providence's, 26-20.
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 17 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 seven times this year (Xavier, Wright State, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Marquette, Syracuse, St. John's), winning three of the seven 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 17.2 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 sixth place in the school record book for 3-pointers made in a career (72). 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 63 is seventh 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 40 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 189 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 23 games.