Elena Tsineke scored a team-high 13 points to lead the Bulls.
No. 16 Tennessee 52, No. 23 USF 49
USF (2-1), Tennessee (3-0)
Monday, Nov. 15, 2021 | 6:30 p.m. | SECN+
Knoxville, Tenn. | Thompson-Boling Arena
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 15, 2021) — Elena Tsineke scored 13 points and Elisa Pinzan added 11 points to lead No. 23 South Florida, but No. 16-ranked Tennessee proved too be to much down the stretch as the Lady Vols handed the Bulls their first loss of the season, 52-49 at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Sydni Harvey chipped in with nine points and Bethy Mununga and Maria Alvarez had six points apiece.
The Bulls trailed for the majority of the first half until Cristina Bermejo drained her first three of the season with just over three minutes left in the half to put the Bulls up, 19-18. South Florida then closed the half on an 8-2 run to take a 27-20 lead into the locker room at the break. The Bulls trailed Tennessee 12-9 at the end of the first quarter, however, outscored the Lady Vols, 18-8 in the second behind 50 percent shooting (6-for-12) from the field and a blistering 83.3 percent (5-for-6) from behind the arc.
South Florida then turned the tides in the second stanza, leading most of the final two quarters until Tamari Key got the Lady Vols back on top, 47-46, with just over 90 seconds left. But Pinzan drained a deep three with 45 ticks left on the clock to put the Bulls back on top, 49-47. Jordan Horston, however, scored the final five points of the contest to put the game away.
In addition to her six points, Mununga hauled down a game-high 13 rebounds for South Florida.
20-for-23 – Tennessee pulled down 20 offensive rebounds leading to 23-second chance points on the night against the Bulls.
- Thursday’s starters for the Bulls were: G Elisa Pinzan, G Sydni Harvey, W Elena Tsineke, F Shae Leverett, and F Bethy Mununga … The Bulls are 1-1 with this lineup.
- Monday’s game with Tennessee marked the first meeting between South Florida and Tennessee.
The Bulls now head to the Bahamas for four games, including three in the inaugural Battle 4 Atlantis Women’s Tournament, beginning on Nov. 20 against Syracuse at 2:30 p.m., and a possible day two matchup against UConn who will face Minnesota on the first day. Oregon, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Buffalo are all potential opponents on Nov. 22.
South Florida closes out its trip to the Bahamas on Nov. 26 against the defending National Champion Stanford in the Baha Mar Pink Flamingo Championship. Tip-off against the Cardinal is at noon.
About USF Women’s Basketball
USF recorded its best season in program history during the 2020-21 campaign, all while navigating the unpredictable COVID-19 landscape. In doing so, the Bulls won their first-ever American Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles, and posted their highest ranking in the Associated Press Top25 poll – reaching as high as No. 12 – and made their ninth straight postseason appearance, and sixth NCAA appearance in the last 10 years.
USF has made 16 postseason tournament appearances and had seven NCAA Tournament berths in head coach Jose Fernandez’s 21 seasons. The all-time winningest coach in program history, Fernandez has guided USF to nine 20-win seasons, two WNIT final four appearances, the 2009 WNIT championship, and won nearly 400 career games. For his efforts on the sideline during the 2020-21 season, 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.
The Bulls posted a 19-4 record and had five players, during the 2020-21 campaign, the Bulls had five players recognized by The American for impressive seasons, including Elisa Pinzan (Most Improved Player, All-Conference Second Team), Maria Alvarez (Co-Sixth Player of the Year), Bethy Mununga (All-Conference First Team), Elena Tsineke (All-Conference First Team), and Sydni Harvey (All-Conference Third Team).
In addition, Harvey was named the American Athletic Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Player and to the All-Tournament Team, while Mununga and Tsineke were also All-Tournament selections.
– #GoBulls –