Cincinnati Hosts Presbyterian College On Monday|
Nov. 25, 2007
The University of Cincinnati plays Presbyterian College in a 4 p.m. matinee at Fifth Third Arena on Monday, Nov. 26. The Bearcats will be shooting for their fourth consecutive win after defeating McNeese State, 83-44, on Wednesday, Nov. 21.
Four UC players are averaging double figure scoring averages, led by redshirt-sophomore Kahla Roudebush's 17.3 points a game. Junior forward Jill Stephens averages a BIG EAST high 12.8 rebounds a game after a 22 rebound outburst in the Bearcats victory against McNeese State.
Freshman guard Tenishia Benson is a perfect 22-of-22 from the free throw line this season and leads the BIG EAST in free throw percentage. Benson's streak of 22 made free throws tops UC's Valerie King's streak of 21 made free throws set during the 2002-03 season.
UC is led by an entirely new coaching staff, directed by J. Kelley Hall. Hall comes to Cincinnati from Louisiana-Lafayette where he won two Sun Belt Conference West Division titles and led the team to its first trip to the NCAA Tournament (2006-07). Hall's overall record as a head coach is 293-119 and he has compiled an 89-63 overall record as an NCAA Division I head coach.
The Bearcats hit the road for the first time this season, taking on the Dayton Flyers on Thursday, Nov. 29 at the University of Dayton Arena at 7 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT:
Cincinnati tied the school record with 13 three pointers and five Bearcats scored in double figures as UC won its third consecutive game of the 2007-08 season, an 83-44, victory over McNeese State.
The Bearcats set a new school record with 51 three point attempts and outrebounded the Cowgirls, 60-34, grabbing the third-most rebounds in a game in school history. UC was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line as a team, tying the school free throw percentage record.
Five Bearcats scored in double figures with Jill Stephens recording her second consecutive double-double with 14 points and 22 rebounds. The 22 rebounds in a game ties fourth in the school record book and her 14 offensive rebounds in the game ties first in the Fifth Third Arena record book.
Kahla Roudebush scored a game-high 19 points and landed a career-high five treys. Tenishia Benson continued her perfect streak at the free throw line and scored 14 points in the game. Benson has an active streak of 22 free throws made and snapped the streak of free throws made by Valerie King in the 2002-03 season (21 made).
Natasha Graboski scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds while Carla Jacobs finished with 11 points and landed three three's in the game. Jacobs, UC's point guard, has now blocked a shot in each of the last two games.
ABOUT PRESBYTERIAN: The Blue Hose are playing the third of seven consecutive road games and their second game in Ohio, falling to the Ohio University Bobcats on Saturday, Nov. 24, 86-55. Currently winless, Presbyterian is led by Sharie Hopkins, who knocked down 19 points against the Bobcats and is averaging 14 points and 6.2 rebounds a game. Located in Clinton, S.C. the Blue Hose are playing their first season as members of NCAA Division I and are members of the Big South Conference. Head coach Jessica Vanco, a native of Medina, Ohio, is in her fourth season at PC and owns a 34-55 overall record.
BLOCK THAT SHOT: Against McNeese State UC had eight blocked shots as a team, more than the Bearcats recorded in the last seven games of the season combined last year. UC is averaging 3.0 blocks a game, up 1.9 a game from last season.
TIP IT GOOD: Natasha Graboski, a 6-3 sophomore center, has won the last three jumpball tips and won the overtime tip in the Duquesne game. Graboski is one of the team's toughest players, fouling out of the Duquesne game and recording a team-high 12 fouls this season. The center has the third-highest assists on the team.
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 and freshman guard Asia Jenkins also will not suit up for the Bearcats against Presbyterian, and junior guard Angel Morgan is working back to full speed after an injury in the game against Michigan. Sophomore center Natasha Graboski missed the first exhibition game nursing an injury, but rejoined the team in the second exhibition and in the regular season opener. Sophomore guard Carla Jacobs, a member of the BIG EAST all-freshman team in 2007, saw limited action in the first exhibition game but has started the first four regular season games.
BENSON BRINGS IT: Freshman guard Tenishia Benson was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll for the week ending Nov. 18, as announced by the league office Monday, Nov. 19. 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). Benson continued her hot start with a 15 point, nine rebound performance against Duquesne, landing 9-of-9 free throws, and against McNeese State she was 2-for-2 at the line, increasing her streak to 22-for-22 at the free throw line so far this season. She finished the McNeese State game with her first double-double of the year, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
ON THE DEFENSIVE: The Bearcats will focus on defense and rebounding this year and are off to a good start in both categories, allowing opponents 62.5 points a game and outrebounding opponents, 195-123. UC grabbed 60 rebounds against McNeese State, the third highest rebounding performance in school history, and currently lead the BIG EAST with a +18.0 rebounding margin.
FINE AT THE LINE: In exhibition this season, the Bearcats were 19-for-32 (59.4%) from the charity stripe and during the first three games of the season, UC is shooting 78.6 at the line. 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. Benson has not missed at the charity stripe, hitting 22 consecutive free throws and snapping the streak of 21 set by Valerie King in the 2002-03 season. 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.
PROTECTING THE BALL: After averaging 20.5 turnovers a game in the first two exhibition games, UC has done a much better job protecting the ball over the last three games, committing only 14.8 turnovers a game.