UC vs Houston

The University of Cincinnati Women’s Basketball team was defeated by Houston, 39 - 63, on Jan. 25, 2023 at Fifth-Third Arena. The Bearcats are ranked No. 11 in the AAC.

Squaring off for the third time this season, the University of Cincinnati (UC) women’s basketball team fell to Tulane 61-52 in the first round of the American Athletic Conference (AAC) tournament. The loss closes out the Bearcats' season, finishing at 9-21 and 2-14 in AAC play. 

“I'm just proud of our effort. I know I said this in the locker room to the team. We've been fighting and we've been grinding all season, and I just hate that we couldn't pull it out.” said head coach Michelle Clark-Heard – who will not be returning to the Bearcats next season. 

After an early bucket from both teams, a three-minute drought transpired, with the game knotted at two with six minutes to play in the quarter. A Caitlyn Wilson three-pointer jumped started an 8-0 run to close out the first as UC was up 14-9.

A 7-2 run by the Green Wave to open the second brought the game back to even. Malea Williams and Mya Jackson each connected on a mid-range jumper to push the lead to four, the largest lead of the quarter by either side. 

A buzzer-beater jumper by Williams with one second left closed out the half, with the Bearcats leading by four into the break. 

“I just think her heart, her desire to want to win”, Heard said about Williams. “She talks to all the coaches all the time, asking questions about how she can get better or where she needs to be at. She just plays super hard.” 

The two teams traded baskets throughout the quarter, before Tulane regained the lead after Marta Galic found senior guard Dynah Jones for three. Jada Scott responded with an easy layup to tie the game at 34 before Kyren Whittington scored five consecutive points for the Green Wave. 

Only scoring 10 points in the quarter, UC found itself down 42-36 through 30 minutes of play. 

A slow start to the quarter for both schools, senior guard Dais’Ja Trotter knocked down a three with 7:50 to go in the game. A four-minute dry spell for Cincinnati followed before a Jillian Hayes free throw cut the deficit to eight with three to play.

Playing the foul game, Wiliams dropped in a three with 29 seconds left to bring the Bearcats within seven, but that was as close as they would get. 

“I thought we battled and played hard,” said coach Heard. “But I think when it got to the third and fourth quarter, they made some big shots. I was changing up our defenses and adjusting, but we took some quick shots. I think the momentum kind of shifted in a way when they made a basket.” 

Williams led the way for Cincinnati, finishing with a team-high in points, 12, rebounds, five, and blocked shots, five. 

For Tulane, three players scored in double figures, with sophomore guard Kyren Whittington finishing with a game-high 18 points while dishing out two assists and hauling in three rebounds.