THE GAME: The University of Cincinnati women's basketball team will open the 2013-14 regular season Saturday evening when the Bearcats make the short trip across the river to face Northern Kentucky. The contest will be the season-opener for both squads.
THE SERIES: The all-time series is tied at 8-8. UC's 49-31 win over the Norse last season marked the first meeting between the two schools since 1975. The Bearcats enter the 2013-14 season coming off a 12-18 showing last year. UC rattled off wins in four of their last six regular-season contests.
Cincinnati was selected to finish seventh in the inaugural season of the American Athletic Conference. Senior Dayeesha Hollins was a preseason All-Conference selection.
Cincinnati defeated NAIA powerhouse Southern Polytechnic State Monday evening during the only exhibition game prior to the start of 2013-14 season. UC was led by senior Jeanise Randolph who totaled 17 points and eight rebounds. In a regular-season contest the 17 points would have been the second-highest total of her career.
Eight of nine letterwinners will return for the Bearcats this season, losing just one starter in center Lesha Dunn. The former Bearcat contributed 7.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game last season.
The Bearcats return 85.7 percent of their points and 84.8 percent of their rebounds from 2012-13.
The 2013-14 senior class started a total of 80 games last season including Kayla Cook, the only Bearcat to start every contest (30).
This is the first ever meeting between the Bearcats and Hornets.
Four new faces join the roster for 2013-14, all freshmen. Two begin their UC careers after winning player of the year honors as seniors - Marley Hill (Cleveland, Ohio / Africentric) was named Associated Press Ohio Division III Co-Player of the Year while Bianca Quisenberry (Springfield, Ohio/Tecumseh) was named Gatorade Ohio Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
Dayeesha Hollins, a two-time All-BIG EAST selection led the team in scoring last season at 15.4 points per game. She reached double digits in scoring 23 times last season and 73 times overall in her career. Hollins surpassed the 20-point mark six times and recorded one double-double.