Cincinnati women’s basketball Bearcats are 1-1 after the first week of the regular season.
Four players played 33+ minutes and Cincinnati beat Utah, in their first ever meeting, 68-62. The beauty of this team is they are more than just one star, this is a well-balanced team that gets contributions from several players. Antoinette Miller, Preseason All-Second AAC, led the way with 21 points and fellow All-Second teamer IImar’I Thomas scored 19 points. Both made 7 field goals, while Miller shot 7-16 and Thomas shot 7-13. As a team, Cincinnati went 3-12 from three with Miller hitting two and Sam Rodgers hitting the other one.
Rodgers scored 6 points and grabbed 6 rebounds while leading the team in minutes (37). Angel Rizor was the fourth Bearcat that played over 33 minutes. Rizor scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, for her third career double-double.
Florence Sifa, last year’s AAC Newcomer of the Year, played just 17 minutes after fouling out quickly.
Nesma Khalifa got the start over Thomas and played just 5 minutes. The rest of the bench consisted of three newcomers, with only Addaya Moore (transfer from Illinois) making a contribution, playing 22 minutes scoring 4 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists. Freshmen Chelia Watson and Jadyn Scott both played just under 10 minutes and combined to make one shot.
Loss to Saint Louis
On Sunday, Bearcats suffered their first defeat of the season, losing at home to the Bilikens. Saint Louis led by 7 at the half and the Bearcats got to within 4 at one point in the 4th quarter, but just could not get over the hump and Saint Louis pulled away late for a 60-50 victory.
Miller and Thomas once again led the way with 21 points for Miller and 16 for Thomas. Thomas also added 12 rebounds. After coming off the bench in the opener, she reclaimed her spot in the starting lineup.
It was cold outside in Cincinnati and even colder in Fifth Third Arena as the Bearcats shot 29% from the floor. Miller and Thomas were the only two who found any rhythm offensively. Rodgers shot 1-12 and Rizor was 1-6.
Outside of the four aforementioned ladies, only Sifa, Moore and Aleah Nelson scored (1 basketball each).
Bearcats are going to need to get much more from their bench as the season progresses. Obviously it’s early and the new players, like Moore and the freshman, are still adjusting and getting comfortable.
Next Up - Ohio State
Buckeyes beat the Bearcats 69-56 in Columbus in 2018 and have won the last four meetings and 6 of 7 all-time. Cincinnati’s lone win came in 2013 at Fifth Third Arena, which is where they will host Ohio State on Wednesday.
Buckeyes opened the season with an 89-38 victory win on Sunday against Valparaiso.