The University of Cincinnati women's basketball team extended its win-streak to three games Wednesday afternoon, defeating Tulsa University 78-53.
UC (16-7, 7-3 American) played aggressively on both sides of the ball, as junior forward IImari'I Thomas ended with a team-high 21 points along with 15 points from senior guard Sam Rodgers.
The game was a little different, being played at 11 a.m., with multiple grade schools from around the Cincinnati area filling much of the Fifth Third Arena crowd.
Cincinnati started the game with a 8-0 run, Rodgers had six of UC's 14 points and by the middle of the first quarter, being a big part of the Bearcats hot offensive start. When Tulsa started climbing back towards the end of the quarter, Rodgers connected on a 3-pointer and gave an assist to Thomas to keep the Bearcats in the lead.
"You have to come out and start from the beginning of every game" Rodgers said. "You have to make sure everyone is on their feet and ready to go."
The momentum didn't stop in the second-quarter, as senior guard Antoinette Miller pump-faked a defender and drained a mid-range shot. Tulsa tried to keep pace, as UC focused on Tulsa senior forward Kendrian Elliot, who put 11 points on the board midway through the quarter.
With under 5 minutes until halftime, Thomas made a layup to put UC to help add to the extensive lead.
At the start of the second-half, Tulsa came out aggressively on defense and fouled UC on their first two possessions, with the latter resulting in Thomas making two free throws.
It appeared to be a blowout, but UC was still treating it as a tied game. An offensive rebound by freshman forward Jadyn Scott saw her finish a lay-up to finish the third quarter with the Bearcats holding a 25-point lead.
"Coach Heard is really pushing us and right now" Rodgers said. "We're just looking to finish out the rest of the season strong, get the lead and move on to the next."
Leading big in the fourth quarter, Thomas made an and-one and converted the free throw. Miller drained a 3-pointer to put the Bearcats over the 70-point mark.
Women's basketball will travel to the University of Central Florida Saturday for a 2 p.m. tip-off.