New rule - no more playing Ohio State.
On Wednesday night, the Cincinnati Bearcats lost 78-73 in overtime at home against the Ohio State Buckeyes, to fall to 1-2 on the season. Since September, the Bearcats football, men and now women’s basketball teams have all lost to Ohio State.
Cincinnati opened the season with a win against Utah but has lost the last two against Saint Louis and the Buckeyes.
It was a thrilling game though, even if the end was disappointing. After trailing by 10 points in the third quarter, Cincinnati fought back and trailed by 6 with 5 minutes to go. Despite shooting the ball poorly, Cincinnati ended the game on a 9-3 run to send it to overtime.
How did we get there?
With the Bearcats down 61-57, Antoinette Miller hit a three and got fouled. She would hit the free throw to tie the game at 61 with 35 seconds remaining. Ohio State hit 1 of 2 free throws and the next posession, leaving the door open for Cincinnati. They seized the opportunity as Miller, again, hit a clutch shot, this time a layup with 17 seconds left to tie the game at 62.
Cincinnati had one last opportunity, when I’imari Thomas took a long three and missed at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.
It was tied at 71-71 with 1:30 to go, but Ohio State would pull away as the Bearcats missed too many shots in the final 90 seconds and Ohio State hit a clutch three and their free throws and would win the game 78-73.
Overtime was more high scoring than the fourth quarter (Ohio State outscored Cincinnati 16-11 in overtime and was outscored 10-11 by Cincinnati).
Only three players played off the bench. Chellia Watson played 18 minutes, before fouling out. Watson was the only bench played to score (6 points). The total numbers from the bench - 6 points, 1 rebound, 0 assists
Beyond that, Aleah Nelson and Nesma Khalifa each played just under 3 minutes off the bench. Miller, Thomas, and Angel Rizor all played over 40 minutes, while Thomas played 39 and Addayo Moore played 32, splitting her time with Watson.
Stars of the Game
I’imari Thomas led the team with 25 points, a new career-high. She shot 7 of 19 from the floor and most notably, hit 11 of 13 free throws. She also grabbed 12 rebounds.
Antoinette Miller reached the 20 points mark (exactly) for the 6th straight game. She shot 6 of 19 and hit one of the team’s two three points (which led to the and one and tied the game).
Bearcats have two more home games as part of this opening season home stand. They host Ball State on Saturday and Tennessee-Chattanooga on Tuesday 11/19.
Following that, they leave Fifth Third Arena for the first time, during Thanksgiving weekend to play in the Puerto Rico Classic. They will face Iowa and Bucknell. They then return home to play their first true road game against VCU.