Women’s Basketball Around the American: UCF, Cincy and Houston all keep pace with weekend wins

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Connecticut’s Crystal Dangerfield (5) drives against Cincinnati’s Iimar’i Thomas (23) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

UConn is the class of The American. There is no doubt about that.

So, when any other American Athletic Conference team goes up against UConn, the chances are about 100 percent that they will lose. That has been the story since the creation of the conference back in 2014.

As a result, the remaining teams in the conference always find themselves playing for second place, a battle that often gets interesting. This weekend, the second, third and fourth-place teams all won to keep pace with UConn, so there was no shake up in the standings.

UCF: 66 SMU: 54

UCF (20-3, 9-1 The American) has been the second-best team in the conference all season. Their lone conference loss came to UConn back on Jan. 27. On Saturday, they took care of an SMU team (8-15, 2-8 The American) that has been struggling to say the least.

Kay Kay Wright was the only UCF player to score in double digits, as she tallied 20 points for the 10th time this season to go along with nine assists. Nyala Shuler played all 40 minutes and pulled down 10 rebounds.

In the loss, the Mustangs were led by Kayla White, who scored 15 points, including nine from 3-point range.

Cincinnati: 82 Wichita State: 54

The Cincinnati Bearcats beat the Wichita State Shockers (10-13, 3-7 The American) by a convincing 28 points on Sunday to move to 15-8 overall and 7-3 in the American, where they remain in third place.

Antoinette Miller had a huge game for Cincy, putting up a career-high 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Iimar’i Thomas Thomas added 19 points and nine rebounds to the winning effort. The team shot a combined 52.5 percent in the win.

The Shockers couldn’t get much going offensively, and they were playing from behind the entire game. Off the bench, Trajata Colbert led the team in scoring with 11.

Houston: 54 USF: 52

This was the closest game in the American this weekend, as neither team played particularly well, but Houston (12-11, 6-4 The American) squeezed out the win over the USF Bulls (12-12, 3-7 The American) to keep their fourth-place spot in the conference.

The Cougars shot just 36 percent from the field and turned the all over 17 times, but good defense and clutch free throws allowed them to secure the two-point victory. Julia Blackshell-Fair led the team with 17 points and Octavia Barnes added 11 more.

USF shot even worse than Houston at just 30 percent, but Enna Pehadzic had a big game with 21 points and five rebounds. They traded blows with the Cougars all game but fell just short at the end.


Danny Barletta is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at daniel.barletta@uconn.edu .

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