The University of Cincinnati (UC) women’s basketball team is set to host Southern Methodist University (SMU) Mustangs on Feb. 9. This contest is set to be the first and only matchup between these two teams this season.
The Bearcats had plenty of time for rest and preparation for this matchup as they had seven days between their loss to The University of Memphis (UM) Tigers on Wednesday, and the upcoming battle with SMU.
Cincinnati is looking to bounce back after falling to Memphis 66-54 in a back-and-forth game that saw the Tigers pull away from the Bearcats in the fourth quarter. The loss sent the Bearcats to the bottom half of the American Athletic Conference (AAC) standings where they now hold a 3-6 record in conference play.
The loss continued to show the struggle the Bearcats have when playing on the road as their record away from Fifth Third Arena fell to 2-6. Cincinnati has now lost seven of their last 10 games.
For the Mustangs, they are currently sitting in fourth place in the AAC rankings, boasting a 4-2 conference record. The Bearcats and Mustangs both have ten wins on the season, but SMU holds a higher winning percentage and have played three less games than UC due to a slew of postponed games earlier in their season.
The Bearcat’s struggles this season have been coming from the defensive side of the ball. They are allowing an AAC worst 65.8 points per game (PPG). The Bearcats will need to rely on junior guard Akira Levy, who leads the team in PPG and assists per game (APG), to continue to propel their offense to make up for a lack of defense.
History is on the Bearcats side for this matchup as they have won six of 10 games against the Mustangs since the two teams first played each other back in 1979. Cincinnati is desperate for a conference victory to climb the ladder in the AAC standings as their chances continue to diminish with just six games left in the regular season.
The remaining schedule for UC is not favorable as three of the games are against teams who have already bested the Bearcats this season. The regular season finale also pins the Bearcats against the University of Central Florida (UCF) Knights. UCF is sitting comfortably atop the AAC standings holding an impressive 8-1 record in conference play
However, UCF’s one loss in conference play this year did come at the hands of the Bearcats who defeated the Knights 61-57 back on Jan. 22. This proves the Bearcats have the talent and pieces to compete in the AAC and they will have another chance to prove it against a worthy SMU team.
The Bearcats currently hold a four-game winning streak against the Mustangs with their most recent matchup being a 73-58 victory for UC back on Feb. 8, 2020. They will look to extend their winning streak to five tonight at 7 p.m.