Sports Women's Basketball

UH women’s basketball blows past Cincinnati in AAC Tournament first round

Sophomore guard Laila Blair led all scorers with 22 points against Cincinnati. | Sean Thomas/The Cougar

The UH women’s basketball team opened the first round of the 2021 American Athletic Conference Championship tournament with a dominant 67-45 victory over Cincinnati.

The Cougars avenged a loss from its only meeting against the Bearcats earlier this season as they advance to the second round of the conference tournament.

The first quarter saw a slow start between both teams with a score of 8-7 in favor of the Cougars with 2:40 left in the period.

The pace of the game changed immediately as the Cougars closed out the quarter on a 10-0 run to lead 18-7.

UH tacked on six more points to complete a 16-0 run and stretch the lead to 24-7 nearing the midway point of the second quarter.

The Bearcats stopped the bleeding and evened out the momentum as both teams exchanged scores nearing the late end of the second quarter.

Despite falling in a scoreless drought for the last 2:05 of the second quarter, the Bearcats finished the first half on a 7-3 run to cut the deficit to 34-20 heading into halftime.

Junior guard Tiara Young scored 11 points in the first half while senior forward Tatyana Hill grabbed nine rebounds.

UH outshot Cincinnati 43.8 to 23.1 percent from the field in the first half while also outrebounding the Bearcats 23-18.

The Cougars hopped on an 8-2 run to start the third quarter and extend their advantage to 20 points.

Cincinnati jumped on their own swing of momentum with a 10-2 run to cut the deficit to 44-32 before UH regained control of the game and held a 31-34 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The Bearcats opened the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run followed by a Cougars 9-0 run to extend the margin back to 20 points.

The remainder of the quarter was a game of catch-up for Cincinnati as UH held firm on the lead and never relinquished it en route to its first-round victory.

Sophomore guard Laila Blair led all scorers with 22 points while Hill finished with 12 rebounds and six points.

The Cougars will now face Tulsa in the second round of the AAC Championship tournament on March 8 at 8 p.m.

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