CINCINNATI – The inaugural Big 12 Conference season for the Cincinnati Bearcats (13-15) comes to an end Saturday as they travel to Ames, Iowa to face off against the defending Big 12 Champion Iowa State Cyclones (17-10) for just the third time.

The last time the two teams met went the way of the Cyclones, defeating the Bearcats 85-54 back in 2016. The Cyclones lead the all-time series 2-0

Senior forward Jillian Hayes has led the way for the Bearcats all season, averaging just below a double-double with 12.6 points per game, and 8.6 rebounds per game.  A’riel and Reagan Jackson, Ta’Ziah Jenks and Malea Williams have rounded out the core five for much of the season, with Reagan Jackson filling in at the one spot after losing star forward Mya Jackson to a knee injury early in the season.

Cincinnati, sitting as the lowest scoring offense in the league (62.5 ppg), and 10th defensively (65.0 ppg allowed), will be well matched against Iowa State’s 5th best scoring offense (75.3 ppg).

The scoring does come alive at the free throw line for Cincinnati however, making 440, which is good enough for second in the league.

This matchup also features two of the best rebounding teams in the Big 12, with Iowa State ranking 2nd (41.7 rpg) and Cincinnati in 3rd (40.7 rpg).

1st year head coach Katrina Merriweather has led Cincinnati to its most wins in a season since 2020, where the Bearcats would go 22-10, losing in the American Athletic Conference Championship to #1 seeded UConn 87-53.

The Bearcats are looking for one final push for a first round bye in the Big 12 Tournament, after falling to #21 Baylor on Tuesday. Cincinnati sits at 11th place in the conference, a game behind of BYU, who had swept the Bearcats in the season series.

Coverage of the matchup will be made available on ESPN+ at 2:00 p.m. EST (1:00 p.m. CST), as well as Cincinnati’s WSAI FOX Sports 1360AM.

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