- Associated Press - Saturday, March 1, 2014

CINCINNATI (AP) - Injuries to teammates have forced Jeanise Randolph to shoulder most of the load for Cincinnati this season.

She did again on Saturday, but doing so on Senior Day against No. 3 Louisville in the final home game of her career made it extra special.

Before a crowd of 1,088 at Fifth Third Arena, Randolph had 22 points and 11 rebounds - her ninth double-double of the season and 14th of her career in Cincinnati’s 75-51 loss. She finished a point short of matching her career-high, through no fault of Bearcats’ coach Jamelle Elliott.

“We didn’t want to make it all about her, but we ran a couple of plays for her toward the end,” Elliott said.

Still, finishing with a flourish made the day memorable for the Chicago native.

“It feels great,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting this, but the team and the crowd were cheering me on, and I felt like this was my night.”

Tia Gibbs came off the bench to score 17 points as Louisville pulled away from the Bearcats.

Antonita Slaughter added 14 points, Asia Taylor finished with 12 and Shoni Schimmel scored 10, helping keep alive Louisville’s bid for a share of the inaugural American Athletic Conference championship.

The second-place Cardinals (28-2, 16-1) went into Saturday’s game trailing top-ranked and conference-leading Connecticut by one game.

The two are scheduled to meet in the regular-season finale on Monday in Louisville.

Alyesha Lovett added 15 points for Cincinnati (12-16, 5-12).

Randolph, who was averaging 11.4 points per game, scored 14 in the first half, including a personal 10-2 run that left the Bearcats leading, 21-19, with 9:49 remaining before halftime.

“We knew it was Senior Night,” Gibbs said about Randolph. “We knew she’s a good player - a strong player.”

“What can you say,” Cardinals coach Jeff Walz said. “She really took it to us.”

Louisville regained the lead on back-to-back conventional three-point plays by Gibbs, and the Cardinals rode eight Cincinnati turnovers to a 18-8 run that left them leading, 37-29, at halftime.

The Cardinals limited Cincinnati to 22 points in the second half while adjusting their offense to go more inside. They took the same number of shots from the field in each half, but 15 of them were 3-pointers in the first half and only three were launched from behind the arc after halftime. That helped Louisville improve its shooting percentage from 37.9 (11-of-29) in the first half to 55.2 (16-of-29) in the second.

“I think we started off a little slow,” Gibbs said. “We were making some silly turnovers. The adjustments we made were mainly mental. They were outrebounding us. We had to start attacking them instead of letting them attack us.”

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