Following a loss at Louisville in the season opener, the Bearcats bounced back with a 68-57 win over Tennessee Tech on Thursday night. Jillian Hayes scored a game-high 19 points and nine rebounds.
Tennessee Tech jumped out to a 15-14 lead after the first period before Cincinnati answered with a run to take a 35-22 lead at halftime. The Bearcats led by as much as 17 points en route to the double-digit win.
After struggling in the loss at Louisville, Hayes was much more confident and stayed out of foul trouble. The junior forward finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes of action.
Seton Hall transfer Mya Jackson added 18 points, six rebounds and five assists in her debut at Fifth Third Arena, while Malea Williams racked up seven points and six rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench.
Cincinnati Basketball: Bearcats take down Tennessee Tech in home opener
Despite a slow start, the Bearcats defense stepped up and held Tennessee Tech to 28.6% shooting from the field with 16 turnovers. Cincinnati forced several errors with 10 steals and seven blocks in the win.
The Bearcats will return to action against Radford on Sunday afternoon before hosting Toledo next week. Michelle Clark-Heard reacted to the 68-57 win in a postgame interview via Cincinnati Athletics.
"“I felt like we could have played a little better. First home game back in front of the crowd. I was proud of how we kept playing. I talked a little bit before about Mya Jackson and how she changes us. I felt like her and Jillian Hayes really brought the intensity. We have a lot of people that can do different things. We’re still growing, learning each other and trying to put pieces together where we understand. When one person is off and shots weren’t falling tonight, that’s going to happen and to have other people step up is what it’s all about. Radford is a really good team. They have a lot of new players but they play really hard and run a lot of similar stuff. We’re going to have to be ready to go and take care of the basketball.”"