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1/13 USF @Tulane, 8 PM ESPN3

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January 12, 2016 

DATE/TIME: Wednesday, Jan. 13 / 8 p.m. ET
LOCATION: Fogelman Arena, New Orleans, La.

RADIO: News Talk Florida 820-AM | GoUSFBulls.com
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TAMPA, JAN. 12, 2016 – The University of South Florida women’s basketball team travels to the Big Easy and looks to bounce back from its first loss in Sun Dome Arena. The Bulls will face the Green Wave for the first time this season in a key conference match-up, and the game will air on ESPN3 Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET. The Green Wave is undefeated at home and USF looks for just its second road win of the year.

USF (10-4, 3-1 AAC) jumped out to a 14-6 lead, trailed by just five at the half and sank 12 3-pointers in a 75-59 loss to No. 1 UConn. The Bulls nearly took the lead back in the third quarter and played efficiently with just eight turnovers despite being without all-conference forwardAlisia Jenkins, who missed her second straight game with an injury. Courtney Williams made a big push for All-America status with a game-high 26 points and 13 rebounds. The Naismith Trophy candidate tied her career high with four 3-pointers and added two assists and two steals.

The Bulls have battled the Green Wave 31 times since their first meeting in 1992, and Tulane holds a 19-12 advantage. In the Fernandez era, the Bulls are 7-2, their only losses in 2003 and 2009. Last season the pair met three times, and USF went a perfect 3-0, including a win in the American Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals.

Bulls Bites

·      Freshman Kitija Laksa turned in an accomplished week and was honored by the US Basketball Writers Association (WSBWA) as the National Freshman of the Week. Laksa was also named the American Athletic Conference as the Player of the Week. Laksa shocked the league in three outings and totaled 76 points in an efficient manner, shooting 52 percent from the floor, including a 63 percent three-point shooting effort. For the week, Laksa averaged 25.3 points per game, shooting 52 percent from the floor. She enters the week third on the Bulls roster, averaging 12.1 points per game.

·      Courtney Williams scored 26 points against No. 1 UConn Sunday, and moved to third on the all-time scoring list. The senior is shooting for 2,000 career points, and needs 157 points to reach the milestone, but only needs 99 points to become the second highest point scorer in USF history. Only one other player in program history has surpassed 2,000 career points.

·      Alisia Jenkins, still questionable for Tuesday’s game, leads the Bulls with 13.3 rebounds per game this season, and ranks fourth in Division I in her senior season. Jenkins is the current career rebounding record holder for the Bulls, and has collected 1,124 rebounds throughout her four years. The Georgia native is just the second Bull in program history to surpass the 1,000 career rebound mark.

·      The Bulls are ranked No. 19 in the Associated Press (AP) Top-25 Poll released Monday and No. 16 in the USA Today Coaches Poll released last Tuesday. USF has been ranked as highly as No. 18 (AP Poll) and No. 16 (USA Today Coaches Poll) this season, both are the highest rankings in program history.

Around the American

·      In the latest AP poll, UConn remained in the No. 1 spot while USF jumped up three rankings to No. 19.

·      Four American games are set for Wednesday evening. No. 1 UConn travels to Memphis at 5 p.m. ET (SNY/ESPN3). UCF hosts Temple at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN3). No. 22/18 USF visits Tulane at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN3). Tulsa plays host to Cincinnati at 8 p.m. ET (ADN).

·      Two free throws with three seconds left in regulation from Gabrielle Wilkins lifted SMU to a 50-48 win at Houston on Sunday afternoon. The Mustang defense held the Cougars to 21.4-percent shooting from the field in the final two quarters. Alicia Froling posted a team-high 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the win. McKenzie Adams scored 11 points while Wilkins finished with six points and 10 rebounds. Chyanne Butler produced a career-high 17 points and seven steals to lead Houston. Jessieka Palmer added 10 points and Serithia Hawkins grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.

·      The Owls allowed 17 second-half points en route to a 74-51 win against Cincinnati at McGonigle Hall on Sunday. The Temple defense held the Bearcats to 16.1-percent shooting in the final two quarters. Alliya Butts led all players with 24 points to go with three steals. Tanaya Atkinson had 19 points and nine rebounds while Donnaizha Fountain produced her first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Alyesha Lovett registered 23 points and six rebounds for Cincinnati while Jasmine Whitfield added six points and eight rebounds. 

·      Tulsa produced a strong fourth quarter to defeat Memphis, 65-59, on Sunday at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. The Golden Hurricane outscored the Tigers 17-9 in the final quarter. Teanna Reid and Kelsee Grovey led the way with 18 points and 15 points. Tyiae Scales recorded a team-high 10 rebounds in the win. Ariel Hearn scored 18 points while Brianna Wright added 14 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis. 

Tulane’s Scout

·      Tulane newcomer Meredith Schulte picked up her first career conference honor on Monday morning when the American Athletic Conference named the Braselton, Georgia, native its Freshman of the Week. Sophomore guard Kolby Morgan was named to The American’s weekly Honor Roll list in addition to being announced as the AAC Player of the Week by College Sports Madness. Schulte and Morgan helped lead the Green Wave to a 2-0 week, earning a 66-51 road win at East Carolina before returning home to defeat UCF, 75-54.

·      Tulane improved to 9-0 at home with a 75-54 win against UCF on Sunday afternoon. The Green Wave connected on 8-of-19 (42.1-percent) from long range while limiting the Knights to 13.3-percent from deep. Kolby Morgan led Tulane with 19 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Leslie Vorpahl posted her third double-double of the year with 11 points and a career-high 11 assists while Tierra Jones finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.

Up Next

After a crazy four-game in eight days span, the Bulls only have two games this week. USF returns to Sun Dome Arena Sun. Jan. 17 and hosts East Carolina. The game is scheduled to air on ESPNU.  Tickets are available at USFBullsTix.com.


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