Women's Basketball |
Nov. 30, 2007
The University of Cincinnati plays at Xavier University in the 30th edition of the annual Women's Crosstown Shootout. The Bearcats are coming of a 69-53 loss to Dayton on Thursday, Nov. 29. The 1 p.m. matchup at Xavier is UC's second road game of the 2007-08 season.
Four UC players are averaging double figures, led by redshirt-sophomore Kahla Roudebush's 17.0 points a game. Junior forward Jill Stephens averages a BIG EAST-high 11.7 rebounds game and her 37.5 minutes a game leads the league as well.
Freshman guard Tenishia Benson had an amazing streak at the free throw line, landing her first 27 shots she attempted. At Dayton, Benson hit her first four free throws before missing, to snap her streak at 27. Benson's streak of 27 made free throws topped UC's Valerie King's streak of 21 made free throws set during the 2002-03 season.
The winner of this season's Skyline Chili Women's Crosstown Shootout Presented by Cintas will take home the Kendle Cup, sponsored by Kendle, a leading global, full-service clinical research organization headquartered in Cincinnati. The Cup is based on the concept of bridging the pioneers of the UC and XU women's basketball programs to the game today and is intended to recognize the accomplishments of all female athletes and celebrate the evolution of women's athletics through the region's premiere rivalry. Last season Xavier took the Cup home with a 89-76 victory at Fifth Third Arena.
The Bearcats will take finals week off and return to play on Monday, Dec. 11. Wright State will visit Fifth Third Arena as the first of three home games for UC. The game is at 7 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT:
Tenishia Benson scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Cincinnati but the Bearcats dropped a 69-53 decision to Dayton. The loss snapped a four-game win streak for UC. Kahla Roudebush also scored 13 points for Cincinnati.
The Bearcats struggled offensively for the game, shooting 34.6 percent from the floor and not scoring a basket until the 13:42 mark of the first half. Carla Jacobs hit two three pointers and led all UC scorers in the first half with eight points, one shy of half the team's total in the first stanza (UD led, 31-18).
The Bearcats got as close as 11 points in the second half, 38-27, with 15:46 to play, but the Flyers landed three three-pointers over the next four minutes and pushed out to a 24 point lead that UC was unable to overcome. The Bearcats were outrebounded, 43-38, and gave up 28 points in the paint for the game. It is the first time this season that UC has been outrebounded.
The Bearcats had nine shots blocked, the most blocks by an opponent since Jan. 6, 2007 at South Florida, and the Flyers' bench scored 26 points to UC's seven.
Tenishia Benson's perfect streak at the free throw line was snapped when she missed with 58 seconds remaining in the game. Benson connected on her first four throws of the game, bringing her total to 27 straight free throws made.
ABOUT XAVIER: Xavier University lost its first game at Florida and won its next four. A 61-56 loss to Liberty gave the Musketeers its current 4-2 overall record. Junior guard Jerri Taylor is XU's leading scorer this season (17.8 ppg) and sophmore forward Amber Harris adds 17.3 ppg for the Musketeers. Harris has more blocks individually than UC has a team (24 to UC's 18) while freshman center Ta'Shia Phillips is the second 6-6 center UC has faced this season (Michigan's Krista Phillips is the other). XU's Phillips averages 14.0 points and pulls down 13.2 rebounds a game.
COMMON OPPONENT: UC has played two of the same opponents at Xavier, Valparaiso and McNeese State. Both UC and Xavier beat both teams, with UC winning 96-69 over Valpo and 83-44 against the Cowgirls. Xavier won 64-53 and 97-60, respectively.
TIP IT GOOD: Natasha Graboski, a 6-3 sophomore center, has won four of the last five jumpball tips and won the overtime tip in the Duquesne game. Graboski is one of the team's tougher players, fouling out of the Duquesne and Presbyterian games and recording a team-high 20 fouls this season. The center has the third-highest assists on the team with 13.
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 at Xavier, 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 six regular season games.
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
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. 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. Against McNeese State she was 2-for-2 at the line and she landed one of one attempt against Presbyterian, increasing her streak to 23. At Dayton Benson hit her first four attempts before missing. She finished with a streak of 27 made free throws, passing Valerie King's streak of 21 set in the 2002-03 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.
WINDOW WIPERS: The Bearcats will focus heavily on rebounding this year and are off to a good start, outrebounding opponents, 287-196. UC grabbed 60 rebounds against McNeese State, the third highest rebounding performance in school history, and followed it up with a 54 rebounding game against Presbyterian. Currently Cincinnati leads the BIG EAST with a +15.2 rebounding margin.
FINE AT THE LINE: In exhibition this season, the Bearcats were 19-for-32 (59.4%) from the charity stripe and currently UC is shooting 77.9 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. 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. The Bearcats are second in the BIG EAST in free throw percentage, connecting on 81-of-104 attempts for a .779 percentage at the charity stripe.
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 six games, committing only 15.5 turnovers a game.