Following a tough loss to Temple on the road, the University of Cincinnati women’s basketball team rolled over Tulsa for a 74-47 victory Wednesday evening at Fifth Third Arena.
The Bearcats improved to 17-9 overall and 9-4 in the American Athletic Conference (AAC), while the Golden Hurricane fell to 11-14, 5-7 AAC.
UC started strong defensively, holding Tulsa to just 15 points as the team carried a 36-15 advantage into halftime. Tulsa came out of the locker room energized, going on a 14-4 run to get back in the game.
“When we got to that point, we just challenged them in the huddle,” first-year UC head coach Michelle Clark-Heard said. “Our goal was 45 [points], but we gave up 47. We’re just challenging them so we can get better. That’s what the staff and I continue to try to do every day.”
The Bearcats held off Tulsa’s advances in the third period and had their way in the fourth, increasing the lead to as high as 32 as the team cruised to victory.
Junior guard Antoinette Miller lead the Bearcats in scoring with a game-high 17 points along with 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 charges taken. Junior guard Florence Sifa also stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, 7 rebounds and a season-best 6 steals.
“Coach is always challenging me to go hard every single time,” Sifa said. “I just try to push through every single day.”
The Bearcats boasted a balanced scoring attack with eight players scoring six or more points.
“I think that [learning from Sunday’s loss at Temple] makes a great team,” Clark-Heard said. “You keep challenging everybody, everybody keeps stepping up, different people step up at different times. That’s what we’re trying to do — just continue to be a team.”
UC shot 47.5 percent from the floor, knocked down six three-pointers, and was 12-16 from the free throw line. The Bearcats also held a 39-31 advantage on the boards, racked up 22 points off 22 turnovers and got out in transition for 18 points.
“We’re in the end of February, going into March. You should be playing your best basketball, so we’re just working every day so we can get better,” Clark-Heard said.
The next chance to catch the women’s basketball team in action at Fifth Third Arena is March 2 as the team takes on USF in its senior-day game. Tip-off is at noon.