by Cassie Mattia

Cincinnati, Ohio – How about them Bearcats?! 

The UC Women’s Basketball team grabbed a huge victory on Saturday beating the Xavier Muskateers, 82-73, in the 2021 Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout at Fifth Third Back Arena. This was the 43rd time Cincinnati and Xavier competed for the Kendle cup (the Crosstown Shootout trophy) making the Bearcats 26-17 in the rivalry series. Head Coach Michelle Clark-Heard is now 3-0 against Xavier since taking the head coach position. After the win on Saturday, UC is now 5-4 in the American Athletic Conference (AAC).

Former Loveland High School (LHS) stand-out student-athlete Jillian Hayes has not only helped the Bearcats grab some big wins already this year, but is also making a name for herself in the AAC and the world of women’s college basketball! Hayes’ senior year at LHS was one for the books as she averaged 18.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 2 assists, and 3.1 steals per game. With those stats, Hayes was named the 2019-2020 Eastern Cincinnati Conference Women’s Basketball Athlete of the Year, 1st Team All-ECC, and LHS’s All-Time Leading Scorer (1,412), and Leading Rebounder (778). She also led the Loveland Tigers to back-to-back ECC Titles and an OHSAA Sectional Title in 2020.

Hayes not only succeeded on the basketball court at LHS she also achieved top honors in the classroom receiving an Academic Pin for her G.P.A, and recognition for her leadership and sportsmanship earning her The Principal’s Award-Outstanding Female and the OHSAA Archie Griffin Sportsmanship Award.

Going into her Freshman season with the UC Bearcats Women’s Basketball Team, Hayes was selected as the No. 116 prospect in the 2020 class by the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report and was ranked as a 4-star recruit by Prospects Nation. Hayes definitely did not disappoint her Freshman year with the Bearcats despite the COVID-19 obstacles averaging 7.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.1 blocks earning her a spot on the AAC All-Freshman Team. Hayes not only had 20 starts her Freshman season she also placed 1st among the AAC Freshman class in blocks (1.1), 2nd in defensive rebounds (4.4), and 3rd in minutes played (32.3) and assists (2.7). Hayes led the Bearcats team in steals (34) and ranked 3rd in points (182), rebounds (126), and blocks (26).

Since graduating from LHS, Hayes has had a couple of big goals in mind one being to make it to the NCAA Tournament. Thus far in her sophomore season as a team captain, she has made it very clear as to what her personal and team goals are as she has already put up double digits in points in 4 games this season. Check out Hayes’ top games thus far in her sophomore season!

December 1st against Central Michigan (Win 59-54) – 23 points, 5 rebounds, 9/15 FG

November 27th against OSU (Loss 50-86) 16 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal

November 16th against Ohio Win 62-73, 17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals

November 10th against Alabama A&M Win 73-60, 17 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals

Here at Loveland Magazine we love celebrating the successes of former LHS graduates, so we decided to take a trip down to Cincinnati to watch Hayes compete in the 2021 Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout. Wow were we impressed with Hayes’s ability to be a leader and produce stats that led the Bearcats to an 82-73 victory! 

Hayes ended the game with 9 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and 4 assists, most of the stats coming in the final 4 minutes of the game, as she said, “I knew I had to turn it on and produce to get us a win!” At the half, Xavier was up 32-31, due mostly to the Bearcats 14 turnovers and 32.4 Field Goal percentage. Xavier also outrebounded the Bearcats 27-18.

Once the 2nd half of the Crosstown Shootout began Hayes and the Bearcats began to outperform Xavier. In the 4th quarter alone Cincinnati outscored Xavier, 32-20, and made 60% of their shots raising their total field goal percentage for the game to 42.4%! Cincinnati’s bench also stepped it up towards the end of the game accumulating 43 points compared to Xavier’s 9 points. 

Securing the Kendle Cup wasn’t the only milestone for the Bearcats as they also had their highest-scoring game of the season, tied their season-best for 3-point shots made (6), and had 4 Bearcats for the 2nd time this season score in the double digits. Hayes said she hopes this momentum continues right into the NCAA tournament, which has been a goal of hers since she committed to playing basketball at Cincinnati.

After the Bearcats claimed the Kendle Cup once again, Loveland Magazine TV got the opportunity to interview Jillian Hayes post-game to talk about the victory, her role as a team captain, and what she believes UC will achieve this season! So without further ado, we bring to you several exclusive Crosstown Shootout videos and a one-on-one interview with UC Bearcat Sophomore Jillian Hayes!

Here are photos and video highlights from the Crosstown Shootout; Jillian Hayes with her young fans, and the award of the Kendle Cup shot by Adam Ploof, Cassie Mattia, and David Miller. (©2021)

Xavier 73

Team SummaryFG3PTFT
1st Quarter5-152-36-8
33.33 %66.67 %75.00 %
2nd Quarter6-130-22-4
46.15 %0.00 %50.00 %
3rd Quarter9-141-12-3
64.29 %100.00 %66.67 %
4th Quarter3-151-413-17
20.00 %25.00 %76.47 %
40.4 %40.0 %71.9 %
Technical Fouls: noneSecond Chance Points: 12Scores Tied: 5 time(s)
Points in the Paint: 28Fast Break Points: 13Lead Changed: 5 time(s)
Points off Turnovers: 3Bench Points: 9

Cincinnati 82

Team SummaryFG3PTFT
1st Quarter6-182-31-1
33.33 %66.67 %100.00 %
2nd Quarter5-162-44-7
31.25 %50.00 %57.14 %
3rd Quarter8-172-71-1
47.06 %28.57 %100.00 %
4th Quarter9-150-114-18
60.00 %0.00 %77.78 %
42.4 %40.0 %74.1 %
Technical Fouls: noneSecond Chance Points: 14Scores Tied: 5 time(s)
Points in the Paint: 34Fast Break Points: 7Lead Changed: 5 time(s)
Points off Turnovers: 18Bench Points: 43

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Columnist Cassie Mattia is a resident of Historic Downtown Loveland. She is the Co-Owner, Associate Editor, and Director of Marketing of Loveland Magazine. Contact her if you are interested in promoting your event or business in Loveland Magazine. Cassie also Emcee’s events so feel free to reach out if you are in need of an Emcee for your next event, fundraiser, or sports-related competition. Cassie was just selected by the Little Miami River Chamber Alliance as the Loveland Areas Young Professional of the Year.