Bearcats come off win in opener to face Ohio St. Wednesday|
Nov. 13, 2012
Coming off an opening-night win that saw the University of Cincinnati women's basketball dominate Northern Kentucky University defensively, the Bearcats will head up I-71 to face nationally ranked Ohio State University on Wednesday. The Buckeyes are ranked 19th in the Associated Press and 21st in the USA Today preseason polls. The game will be carried live on the Big Ten Network.
UC opened on its home court Friday with an impressive win over its rival from just across the Ohio River, Northern Kentucky. The Bearcats stifling defense held NKU to just two points over the last 9:30 of the first half to take control of the game. Then UC held the Norse without a field goal over a seven-minute stretch of the second-half to salt away the game.
"We take tremendous pride in making it tough for teams to score against us," said UC head coach Jamelle Elliott. "I want to pressure the ball and disrupt tendencies as much as possible."
While the Bearcats were making it hard for NKU to make a basket, they were also controlling the boards. UC had a 41-28 rebounding edge and allowed NKU only seven offensive rebounds. The frontline tandem of Tiffany Turner and Jeanise Randolph had a game-high nine rebounds each. Randolph added three blocks and three steals.
As Turner and Randolph were giving the Bearcats the edge in the paint, UC's guards were playing even better out front. Dayeesha Hollins scored a game-high 17 points and Alyesha Lovett added 11. The pair also had five and six rebounds, respectively. With those two shouldering the scoring load, Elliott recognized another guard for play on the other end of the floor.
"I thought Kayla (Cook) did an exceptional job defensively against NKU," said Elliott. "She wasn't shooting the ball particularly well from the floor but she did not allow that to get her down and she did more than make up for it on defense."
In addition to her team's defense, Elliott was also pleased with what she saw past the starting five.
"I thought our bench came in and gave us some good minutes as well, in particular Jasmine (Whitfield), Chelsea (Jamison) and Alexis (Durley)," said Elliott. "We are going to need our bench to help us win a lot of games this year."
Ohio State (0-1) fell to No. 7/6 Notre Dame, 57-51 in the Carrier Classic, played Friday on the U.S.S. Yorktown in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Tayler Hill scored a game-high 18 points for the Buckeyes. Amber Stokes and Ashley Adams had 10 points apiece. Adams also had 11 rebounds.
"Ohio State is a big, experienced team that plays extremely well at home," said Elliott. "We will have to do a good job on containing Taylor Hill. We must get back in transition and be ready to guard lots of pick and rolls. Our defense is going to be key."
This will be the first of five games the Bearcats will play on TV this season.
"We are really excited to have this game be televised," said Elliott. "It is a great experience for our team, especially our freshmen to play on TV for the first time in their careers. We are excited about the progress of our program and glad that people at home will get a chance to see us play."
Wednesday's game will be the 19th meeting all-time between UC and Ohio State and the first since a 61-60 Buckeyes' win in the 2001 WNIT. The game will tip off at 8 p.m. in OSU's Value City Arena.