For the second year in a row, #20 USF women’s basketball dropped a rare American Conference game to the Memphis Tigers 62-57 on Sunday night at The Fieldhouse on the University of Memphis campus.
The Bulls (18-4, 7-2 AAC) were led by 20 points and eight rebounds from junior forward Maria Jespersen, but struggled to contain Cheyenne Creighton of the Tigers (11-12, 4-6 AAC). Creighton posted 22 points on 10-16 from the floor and added nine rebounds.
“If I was going to have an analogy, we were like a thoroughbred racehorse,” said USF head coach Jose Fernandez. “Trained well, good speed times. Planned to run a good race at their pace, but then never responded last night when asked to.”
As a team USF shot just 22-63 from the field, and 5-24 from three-point range, well below their season averages of 43.1% and 33.2% from downtown. The lack of depth for the Bulls was also a factor, with injuries leaving the Bulls with just seven rotation players, five of whom booked more than 32 minutes.
USF’s Laia Flores, who entered the game second in the NCAA Division I with a 3.54 assist-to-turnover ratio increased her number with four assists and just one turnover. For the season Flores has 142 helpers against just 40 miscues.
The Bulls fall to 36-4 in their last 40 games in AAC play against non-UConn opponents: twice at Memphis, once at Temple last season, and once at ECU in 2014-15.
USF is back in action on Wednesday at 7pm Minges Coliseum in Greenville to take on East Carolina. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.