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USF Basketball Doubleheader: Women Escape Cincinnati 73-61, Men Drop an OT Game Versus Wichita State 82-77

Both teams were plagued by long droughts of missed FGs, but the women prevailed while the men looked uninspired.

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NCAA Basketball: South Florida at Cincinnati Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY NETWORK

USF Women’s Basketball Squeeze Past Cincinnati to Remain Perfect in Conference Play

After narrowly escaping getting upset by Memphis, USF women’s basketball had to put on a dominant final five minutes of play to defeat Cincinnati and move to 2-0 in conference play. Cincinnati couldn’t miss from inside the paint, giving the Bulls a scare before pulling away late.

The game started off with USF putting on a clinic in the first quarter with smooth passes and wide open looks, ending the first quarter at 26-13.

However, the second quarter is when disaster struck with Cincinnati and co-player of the year Iimar’i Thomas leading the way. Thomas, who had a game-high 32 points, was dominant in the post, allowing Cincinnati to inch closer in the second quarter. The Bearcats’ defense also proved formidable in the second, limiting USF to just seven points on 3-for-11 shooting. By halftime, the Bulls lead was just four and they once again found themselves shooting ice cold from the floor.

Unfortunately, the adjustments at halftime didn’t help much either for Jose Fernandez, as USF and Cincinnati battled back-and-forth in the third quarter with the Bulls hanging on to a slim 50-48 lead. A much more sound fourth quarter allowed USF to carry the momentum both offensively and defensively to defeat Cincinnati 73-61.

Sydni Harvey led the Bulls with 21 points, hitting five threes to put a dagger in Fifth Third Arena. Bethy Mununga complied a double-double, her third of the season, after scoring 13 and collecting 14 rebounds. Kristyna Brabencova contributed heavily off the bench with 10 points and six rebounds.

The Bulls continued their dominant rebounding trend, out-gaining the Bearcats 40-23. Elisa Pinzan had an ice cold night scoring, getting only four points in 39 minutes played, but dished it out to hotter hands with 11 assists.

USF women’s basketball will continue their road start to the conference play, as they take on Tulsa on December 30th at 7 p.m. before finally playing at home against ECU after the New Year on January 2nd.

USF Men’s Basketball Drops an Overtime Game Against Wichita State

After a promising start to the game that saw the Bulls lead by as much as 13, the lead slowly dwindled as the game went on before the Shockers started to take control of the game. Wichita State gained the lead with 7 minutes left in the second half and would take control both offensively and defensively for the rest of the game.

Alexis Yetna recorded his second straight double-double, getting 11 points and 13 rebounds in a physical, fast-paced game. David Collins led the Bulls with 19 points and five assists.

Caleb Murphy showed off some of his game getting 12 points and six assists. The Bulls were able to collect 62 rebounds on the night, but shot a dismal 33% from the field. USF shot above their season average on FTs, hitting 65%, but one key miss at the end stifled the Bulls chances to move to 2-0 in conference play.

With Wichita State leading 70-68 with mere seconds left, David Collins was fouled on a three-point attempt, sending him to the line to shoot three free throws. He made the first, missed the second, and hit the third to tie the game at the end of regulation.

However, overtime was not kind to the Bulls, who shot a somber 2-for-11 in the extra five minutes. Their first made basket of overtime came with 22 seconds left, trailing by four and the game undoubtedly out of reach.

On the other side, the Shockers were lead by Tyson Ettiene, who found his groove in the second half to lead all scorers with 25 points. Wichita State got good contribution from UConn grad transfer Alterique Gilbert (10 points), Clarence Jackson (10 points), and Trey Wade (9 points).

USF men’s basketball will look to bounce back after the Christmas break as they travel up to Memphis to take on the Tigers on December 29th, before returning home to take on C. in the War on I-4 on January 2nd.

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