The Cincinnati Bearcats women’s basketball team had a remarkable season in 2019-2020.
They reached the AAC Conference Championship Game for the first time, falling to a UConn club which will be leaving the league next season. Cincinnati, along with UCF and USF, look to be clubs most likely to pick up the mantle as the AAC’s powerhouses.
Cincinnati won 22 games this year, which fell short of the 24 wins they earned in 2018-2019 as they advanced to the WNIT Quarterfinals. If given a shot in the 2020 WNIT, there is a strong possibility that this year’s club could have matched or surpassed that total.
Moving forward, Cincinnati loses some key pieces from its 2019-2020 club. Senior forward Angel Rizor was a steady offensive and defensive presence who combined size and athleticism. Point guard Antoinette Miller was a dynamic scorer and a slick playmaker. Forward-guard Sam Rodgers will arguably be the Bearcats’ biggest loss. Her versatility and ability to contribute in virtually every facet of the game will be dearly missed. In many respects, she was the glue that held this team together.
Nevertheless, Cincinnati will field a strong team in 2020-2021, one that will be capable of winning the American and earning a bid in the NCAA Tournament. Ilmar’I Thomas has been one of the AAC’s most fearsome interior forces for three seasons now. In a UConn-less American, it will be exciting to see how she dominates the competition. Highly touted, soon-to-be-sophomore guards Jada Scott and Aleah Nelson also look to make larger contributions next season for the Bearcats.
Check back with Down the Drive for continued coverage of the Cincinnati Bearcats’ women’s basketball program in the coming months.