By Ronica Shannon
Register Staff Reports
Special to the Register
The Eastern Kentucky University women’s basketball team had a halftime lead, but the Bearcats used a strong second half to rally for a 59-48 win on Sunday afternoon at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati.
Senior Jade Barber paced EKU (5-5) with 13 points, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Senior Alex Jones, who posted a double-double against Cincinnati as a freshman in 2009, also played well, scoring eight points and grabbing five boards.
Senior Raechele Gray scored only five points but dished out a career-high nine assists in the defeat. Gray has 16 assists in the Lady Colonels’ past two contests.
Alexis Durley led Cincinnati with 15 points, while Lesha Dunn scored eight points and collected a game-high 10 rebounds.
A back-and-forth first half featured six lead changes, the final one coming when Gray beat the buzzer with a three-pointer from the top of the key that gave the Lady Colonels a 24-23 advantage at halftime. EKU held Cincinnati to just 30.4 percent (7-of-23) shooting from the field in the first half.
The Bearcats, however, roared to an 11-2 run out of the break, taking a 34-26 lead when Durely hit a free throw less than four minutes into the half. UC’s lead grew to 12, 46-34, when Dunn knocked down a free throw at the 7:22 mark of the second half.
EKU trimmed the lead to six, 46-40, when Barber converted a fast-break layup with 4:32 remaining in the game. However, a pair of three-pointers by Cincinnati’s Kayla Cook over the next two minutes of play sealed the win for the Bearcats.
UC shot nearly 50 percent (12-of-25) from the field in the second half.
The Lady Colonels now have more than a week off before they return to action. EKU is set to take on West Virginia State Dec. 18 at McBrayer Arena.
Tip for that game is scheduled for 7 p.m.