The USF Women's Basketball team ended their regular season on a positive note, beating 24th-ranked Rutgers in Piscataway, 60-51. Courtney Williams had 26 points and 13 rebounds, as the Bulls led throughout.
This was a huge win for USF's post-season hopes. The win gave USF outright third place in the conference, knocking Rutgers down to fourth. This is important, because the #3 seed has an easier path in the conference tournament. They draw Temple in the first round (rather than 18-12 SMU), and will avoid mighty Connecticut until the conference tournament final. Louisville in the semi-finals is only slightly less mighty, though USF did play them close in the Sun Dome, losing by only 8.
Can the USF women still make the NCAA Tournament? The Bulls are #68 in the NCAA RPI, and not even pulling a "next four out" rating from ESPN's Charlie Creme or CollegeSportsMadness.com. On the plus side, they are playing well down the stretch, having won 13 of 17 games going back to New Year's Eve. (The four losses were to Top 5s UConn and Louisville.) A win over Louisville in the semis might get the committee's attention. The Bulls have been playing like an NCAA team of late, but may have taken too many losses early on.
Speaking of Courtney Williams, she was named to the 11-person All-Conference First Team for the AAC. Alisia Jenkins and Inga Orekhova made the second team, and Ariadna Pujol made All-Freshman team. Williams and Jenkins are sophomores, meaning the team will return a lot of talent next season.
Finally, Fox 13 interviewed Orekhova about the situation in Crimea. She is from Sevastopol, an important port city in the ethnic Russian-majority peninsula, and has family there as the tense situation unfolds.