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`Cats Fall to Louisville in Season Opener

Nov. 14, 2010

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ATHENS, Ohio - Tenishia Benson enjoyed an impressive Bobcat debut, scoring a game-high 16 points and tying a game-high eight rebounds, but it wasn't enough as Ohio dropped its 2010-11 season opener to BIG EAST power Louisville, 84-47, Sunday in the Convocation Center.

The Cardinals, a perennial strength on the national scene, took advantage of a sizzling 51 percent shooting clip as well as some costly Bobcat turnovers, scoring 26 points off their miscues on the day. The `Cats battled strong on the backboards, however, pulling down 36 rebounds on the day, including an impressive 18 on the offensive glass.

Benson's (Akron, Ohio) 16 points led the `Cats, while Kamille Buckner (Chicago, Ill.) added seven points, three rebounds, two blocks and a steal. Sophomore transfer Alesia Howard (Columbus, Ohio) tallied six points and a career-high six rebounds in her Bobcat debut, while Symone Lyles (Silver Spring, Md.) and Ashley Fowler (Cincinnati, Ohio) also scored six points apiece. Freshman Shavon Robinson (Canton, Ohio) chipped in five points, while Louisville native Thia Gholson pulled down four rebounds.

"Louisville is a very good basketball team. They came right out of the blocks with something to prove. Their last outing against Tennessee wasn't what they expected and they came here to prove a point," Ohio coach Semeka Randall said. "In the second half, we came back and we played with a more pride and started having some more success with some things, but we have to learn to do that right off the tip. We'll get back to the drawing board. We have a better team than what we showed today."

UofL came out hot early on, jumping out to a 7-0 advantage. Benson responded by scoring Ohio's first six points to bring the `Cats to within two at 8-6 with 15:17 left in the opening half, but that would be as close as they would get. The Cardinals reeled off a huge 21-0 run over eight minutes of play to take control. They would eventually increase their lead to as many as 28 before three Benson free throws and a Lyles trey made it 44-20 at the half.

UofL scored the first four points of the second half, before inside buckets from Buckner and Howard stopped the run. The `Cats continued to battle the powerful Cardinals and pulled to 55-34 after a scooping layin from Benson with 14:36 left. That would be as close as Ohio would get in the second half as Louisville coasted on to the victory.

Becky Burke led four Cardinals in double figures with 14 points, while Monique Reid and Shoni Schimmel each added 13 apiece. Antonita Slaughter pulled down eight rebounds to equal Benson for game-high honors.

Ohio will be back in action Saturday as it stays home to host Memphis in a rematch from a close contest two years ago. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.

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