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NCAA Tournament: No. 8 USF Women’s Basketball Runs Out of Steam Versus No. 1 Seed NC State, Loses 79-67

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AAC regular season, and conference tournament title, and a tournament win. Good season.

Anthony Vito / The Daily Stampede

The No. 8 seed South Florida Bulls women’s basketball team gave top-seeded NC State everything they could handle in the second round of the NCAA Tournament as the Bulls fell [score].

USF used some hot-shooting, and circus shots in the first half to take a 36-35 lead into the break, but the wheels fell off after the break as NC State used a 12-2 run to take the lead for good.

The Bulls were once again led by sophomore guard Elena Tsineke, who scored a game-high 22 points. Guard Elisa Pinzan had 18 points, and six assists for USF, including some nifty circus shots in the first half to keep the Bulls in it.

Beatriz Jordao came off the bench to provide good minutes for USF after Bethy Mununga, and Shae Leverett got into foul trouble in the first half (both eventually fouled out). USF held ACC Player of the Year Elissa Cunane to just 12 points on 3-for-15 shooting. She averaged nearly 19 PPG on 56% shooting.

USF cut the lead to two midway through the third quarter, but NC State used a 10-0 run to extend the lead to 12 just before the end of the quarter. The Bulls never got closer than down eight in the final quarter as their season ends in the first weekend for the seventh time in seven trips to the NCAA Tournament.

The Bulls won the AAC regular season title, the AAC conference tournament title—both over Central Florida—and won a NCAA Tournament game as a woefully underseeded No. 8. It’s been a great year, and with the possibility of Leverett and Mununga coming back, the Bulls are primed for another deep run next season.