Cincinnati Stumbles in Regular-Season Finale at Memphis|
March 4, 2014
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Cincinnati women's basketball team was unable to hold on to a first-half lead Monday night in Memphis, suffering a 53-47 loss in the regular-season finale.
Cincinnati led by five with just under eight minutes to play but the Tigers used a 16-5 scoring advantage in the final minutes to earn the come-from-behind win. UC led 37-32 with 7:55 on the clock before a 7-2 Memphis spurt tied the contest for the first time since the 18:34 mark of the first half.
After the two traded buckets, Cincinnati missed their next four shots, with their only point coming from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Memphis went 5-of-6 from the free throw line and added a jumper to account for the six-point victory.
The Bearcats led by as many as 10 in the contest, holding a 25-15 lead with 2:47 left in the first half. However, the Tigers out-scored Cincinnati 6-0 in the final minutes including a steal and score from Ariel Hearn as time expired to cut the deficit to 25-21 at the break.
Cincinnati was led in scoring by Alyesha Lovett (Newark, N.J./Malcolm X Shabazz) who netted 14 points on 3-of-7 shooting from behind the arc. The junior also pulled down three rebounds and dished out three assists.
Jeanise Randolph (Chicago, Ill./Thornton Fractional North) finished just shy of her 11th double-double of the season recording nine points and a game-high nine rebounds. The senior was 4-of-6 from the field to go along with one steal and one block.
Jasmine Whitfield (Crestwood, Ky./South Oldham) added nine points and six rebounds. The sophomore tied her career high with four assists and also had a team-best two steals.
Memphis was led in the win by Ariel Hearn who totaled 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Hearn, along with teammate Asianna Fuqua-Bey each pulled down a team-high six rebounds.
Overall, Memphis narrowly out-shot Cincinnati 37.8 percent to 36.2 percent and rebounds were even at 32. However, the Tigers were able to total 20 points off 18 Cincinnati turnovers, with 14 of those points coming in the second half. Cincinnati turned it over 11 times in the final 20 minutes.
With the loss the Bearcats finish the season as the No. 8 seed for the upcoming American Athletic Conference tournament. Cincinnati will face No. 9 seed UCF during Friday's opening round. Tip off is set for 6 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN3.