The University of Cincinnati women’s basketball team blew out the Wichita State University Shockers 82-54 Sunday afternoon at Fifth Third Arena.
The Bearcats donned all-pink uniforms, as the matchup was UC’s annual Wear Pink game, which supports breast cancer awareness.
UC point guard Antoinette Miller made sure her team got off to a hot start, scoring 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting in the first quarter. The Bearcats, using a 13-0 run to begin the second quarter, led 35-22 at halftime.
The Shockers scored the first six points in the third quarter before the Bearcats stole the momentum. Miller finished with a game-high 23 points (career-high) on 8-of-12 shooting to go along with four rebounds and three assists.
First-year UC head coach Michelle Clark-Heard knew the key for her team was playing with plenty of energy, as the Bearcats hadn’t played since Feb. 2.
“We tried to speed the game up a little bit,” Clark-Heard said. “I knew we hadn’t played [in eight days]. Being in this situation, I’m just proud of this group. Every single day we’re just trying to get better. I really appreciate my coaching staff. Everyone continues to get better.”
UC had four other players in double-digit scoring: sophomore forward Iimar’I Thomas (19 points, nine rebounds), senior guard Nikira Goings (14 points, four rebounds, four assists), junior guard Florence Sifa (12 points, four assists) and junior forward Angel Rizor (10 points, six rebounds).
The Bearcats, led by Thomas and Rizor, outrebounded the Shockers 41-26.
Clark-Heard stressed that her team should be reaching peak performance during conference play in February, and Miller believes the team is clicking on all cylinders.
“I think people pretty much know what they have to do on the floor when it comes to roles,” Miller said. “I think everybody is really fitting in and playing with a lot of confidence with wherever they have to be.”
Clark-Heard was pleased with the overall performance from her team — particularly in the second half, when the team outscored the Shockers 47-32.
“The guards did a great job of getting the ball inside to the post,” Clark-Heard said. “That’s what we talked about [at halftime]. One of our strengths is the inside game. We want to make sure that we play inside-out. Really excited about how we played in the second half … We do this as a team. There’s no individuals. It’s all team.”
The Bearcats improved to 15-8, 7-3 American Athletic Conference (AAC). The Shockers fell to 10-13, 3-7 AAC.
UC will chase its 16th win Feb. 13 at the University of Memphis Tigers (9-13). Tip-off is 6:30 p.m.
The next chance to watch the Bearcats at Fifth Third Arena is Feb. 20 against the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Tip-off is 7 p.m.