RV/RV USF 58, Houston 56
USF (17-4, 6-0 AAC), Houston (6-12, 3-2 AAC)
Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023 | 8 p.m. ET | ESPN+
Houston, Texas | Fertitta Center
HOUSTON (Jan. 18, 2023) — The University of South Florida women’s basketball team knew coming into tonight’s game against Houston knowing that it would have a battle on its hands against the Cougars at the Fertitta Center, and that’s exactly what it got. But in the end, the Bulls held on for a heart-stopping 58-56 win over Houston for their seventh-straight win. The Green and Gold improve to 17-4 on the year and 6-0 in The American, while the Cougars fall to 6-12 overall and 3-2 in conference play.
Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu scored 22 points and grabbed 17 rebounds and Sammie Puisis had 14 points in the win. Elena Tsineke recorded her first career double-double with 13 points and a career-high 10 rebounds.
The Bulls, who led at the half, 27-23, extended their lead to a game-high 16 points, 43-27, on a free-throw by Maria Alvarez with 3:15 left. South Florida eventually took a 46-33 lead into the beginning of the final quarter.
The Bulls held a double-digit advantage for the majority of the fourth quarter and led by 10, 56-46, with just under two minutes left in the contest. Houston, however, didn’t go quietly outscoring South Florida, 8-0, over a 29-seconds and 12-2 over 2:24 to cut the Bulls’ lead to two, 56-54, with 28 seconds left on the clock.
South Florida then got free throws from Sammie Puisis and Elena Tsineke in the final 18 seconds to help secure the victory.
With the win, South Florida Head Coach Jose Fernandez recorded his 114th career conference win in The American, just four shy of tying UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma’s 118 league wins in the AAC, and five from becoming The American’s all-time leader in conference wins.
- Wednesday’s starters for the Bulls were: G Elena Tsineke, G Aerial Wilson, F Sammie Puisis, F Carla Brito and F Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu … The Bulls are 14-4 with this lineup.
- The win over Houston improves the Bulls’ record against the Cougars to 21-8 in the all-time series … The victory was South Florida’s fourth-straight win and eighth in its last nine games.
- Elena Tsineke played in her 100th career game for South Florida against Houston.
- Elena Tsineke’s 13 points against Houston mark her 77th career double-figure scoring game in her 100th career game with the Bulls.
- Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu’s 22 points and 17 rebounds mark her 47th career double-double and her 22nd in a South Florida uniform.
The Bulls will return to the Yuengling Center on Jan. 22 for the first edition of the 2022-23 War on
I-4 against Central Florida (2 p.m., ESPNU) before heading out for back-to-back road games at Tulsa
on Jan. 25 (5 p.m. ET, ESPNU) at Memphis on Jan. 28 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN+).
Catch The Bulls on Bulls Unlimited & ESPN+
The majority of USF’s regular-season games will be streamed live on the ESPN+ platform. The American Athletic Conference and ESPN began a new 12-year television rights agreement which started in 2020-21. Subscriptions for the ESPN+ app are $9.99 monthly or $99.99 annually and can be packaged with Hulu and Disney+ streaming services. A step-by-step guide for subscribing to ESPN+ is located here.
In addition, all games this season will be broadcast live on USF Bulls Unlimited, with Darek Sharp (home and away) and Brigid Merenda (for home games only) on the call. Bulls Unlimited is available via the free Tune In app (search “Bulls Unlimited”) and provides static-free quality whether you’re listening on your streaming device, laptop or desktop.
About USF Women’s Basketball
To stay up-to-date on the latest USF women’s basketball news, follow the Bulls on social media (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram).
South Florida recorded its 10th 20-win season during the 2021-22 campaign while playing in its sixth American Athletic Conference championship game in its nine years in the conference. The Bulls achieved their highest national ranking of the season when it checked in at No. 13 in the Nov. 30 Associated Press Top 25 Poll, and advanced to their seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in the last nine years.
USF has made 17 postseason tournament appearances and had eight NCAA Tournament berths in head coach Jose Fernandez‘s 22 seasons. The all-time winningest coach in program history, Fernandez has guided USF to 10 20-win seasons, two WNIT final four appearances, the 2009 WNIT championship, and has won over 400 career games. Fernandez was named a finalist for the WBCA and semifinalist for the Naismith National Coach of the Year Awards. He was also tabbed the 2021 American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year at the conclusion of the 2020-21 campaign.
In 2021-22, the Bulls had three players recognized by The American for impressive seasons, including Elena Tsineke (All-Conference First Team), Bethy Mununga (All-Conference Second Team) and Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu (All-Conference Second Team).
In addition, Tsineke and Mununga were named to the American Athletic Conference All-Tournament Team.
– #GoBulls –