The University of Cincinnati women's basketball team lost their fourth straight match against American Athletic Conference rivals Temple University, with a final score of 69-53.
The loss moves the Bearcats to 3-11 (2-8 AAC) as we near midway through the 2020-21 season. Ironically, the women's last win came against Temple, when they visited the Owls in Philadelphia in January.
Head coach Michelle Clark-Heard, whose first two seasons with the program were successful, has not enjoyed similar success with her team this season. At this point last year, her Bearcats had the exact opposite record, sitting at 11-3 in their first 14 regular-season games.
Like several of their games prior, a large part of UC's loss to Temple was poor shooting from the field. The Bearcats went just 21-62 on the night and lacked long-range for much of the night.
Freshman Jillian Hayes, who's been enjoying a breakout season averaging 8.3 points per game (ppg), was off-kilter against the Owls – shooting only 3-17. Her shooting percentage on the season will dip below the 30% mark as a result.
Ilmar'I Thomas didn't have her best performance either. The senior was only able to put up eight points on 3-8 shooting, tying her season low in attempts, despite leading the conference with an average of 23.1 ppg. Thomas started off the season hot but has dipped lately in scoring, averaging 14.5 ppg over the Bearcats losing streak.
However, the loss to Temple did see a couple Bearcats turn in standout performances. Freshman Caitlyn Wilson put up a career-high 23 points on 8-13 shooting, draining five three-pointers on the night. She was the only Bearcat to convert from long range.
Redshirt senior Arame Niang submitted her second double-double on the season, tallying 10 points and a season-high 16 rebounds on the night. Niang also contributed on the defensive end of the court, nagging three blocks and two steals.
Foul trouble also plagued the Bearcats against Temple. The Owls made sure to take advantage, collecting 19 points from the free-throw line. Nine of which were all of the Owl's first points to start the game.
Temple had three players contribute more than fifteen points to the Bearcats one, as freshman Jasha Clinton (17 points), Alexa Williamson (21 points) and Mia Davis (17 points) proved too much for Cincinnati to handle. Davis remains the second-leading scorer in the conference behind Thomas, with an average of 18.8 ppg.
Cincinnati remains at the bottom three in the AAC standings and next heads to New Orleans to face Tulane University on Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.