The Cincinnati Bearcats women’s basketball team fell to Michigan State last evening 81-75 in the opening round of the WNIT.
The Bearcats hung tough against the Big Ten opponent on their home floor, mounting a stout comeback in East Lansing that nearly came to fruition.
Cincinnati fell behind early. The Spartans, paced by better than .550 shooting, took a 10 point lead after the first quarter, 25-15. After a back-and-forth second quarter, the Spartans retained a ten point margin at the break, 46-36.
The Spartans, who were led by senior guard Taryn McCutcheon’s 19 points, took a commanding lead in the second half. They led by as much as 20 and held an 81-66 advantage with less than three minutes in the game.
Cincinnati roared back in the game’s final minutes, making interesting a game that seemed all but out of hand.
Outgoing Seniors Ana Owens and Shanice Johnson, the pillars around which the Bearcats program has been rebuilt, both had strong nights. The point guard Owens posted 16 points in 37 minutes of action. Forward Johnson added 11 points in her Bearcats finale.
The breakout star last night for Cincinnati was sophomore guard Genesis Parker, who pumped in a career high 30 points and 7 rebounds. Parker will certainly be one of the building blocks of the program moving forward.
Thus closes out a highly successful season of Cincinnati Bearcats women’s basketball. The team posted a 19-13 overall record, their best mark in 15 years. Their 10-6 record in the American was their first ever winning season in this conference.
Check back with Down the Drive for a full post-season wrap-up of the Bearcats’ 2017-2018 campaign.