Alex Frank | Sports Director

Loose balls don’t show up on the stat sheet, but they have the potential to impact the outcome of the game.

That was the case Friday night at Fifth Third Arena for the women’s basketball team in its 66-54 win over the VCU Rams to snap a three-game losing streak.

Trailing 48-47 with less than seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, both teams engaged in a battle for a loose ball off a missed three-point attempt by the Rams.

Junior guard Sam Rodgers finally came up with the ball for the Bearcats after three separate battles and then proceeded to hit a go-ahead three at the other end of the court to give the Bearcats a lead they would not relinquish.

The Bearcats closed the game on a 19-6 run to get their record back over .500 at 6-5, and the rally all started with a loose ball recovery by Rodgers.

Sophomore guard Ilmar’I Thomas led the Bearcats with 20 points and came within a single rebound of a double-double.

The Bearcats only shot 34 percent from the field, but they made up for it by out-rebounding the Rams 36-29 and forcing 21 turnovers which turned into 16 points.

“I was just really proud of our effort on defense,” head coach Michele Clark-Heard said. “I think their ability to do that really helped us on the offensive end.”

The Bearcats will have over a week off before returning to Fifth Third Arena Sunday, Dec. 16 to take on their crosstown rival Xavier Musketeers in the women’s Crosstown Shootout.

“I’m excited about the Crosstown,” Clark-Heard said. “Haven’t been involved with that in a while since I was here the first time. Excited about that and excited about our kids’ growth. We’re going to continue to keep fighting and get better.”

 

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