USF men, women fall to ranked opponents
Two potential upsets tonight for USF basketball, but ranked opponents pulled away to beat both Bulls teams, with No. 1 Pittsburgh beating USF's men 75-62 and No. 7 Louisville beating USF's women 76-60.
Some encouraging individual efforts, as Jessica Lawson had 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, while freshman Gus Gilchrist had a career-best 22 points, matching Dominique Jones for the team lead.
Starting guards Shantia Grace (4-for-17) and Jazmine Sepulveda (2-for-10) struggled against Louisville, combining for 12 of USF's 24 turnovers. Senior guard Jesus Verdejo went 0-for-7 against Pitt, finishing with two points. Pittsburgh got 18 rebounds from DeJuan Blair and 14 assists from guard Levance Fields.
Here's a link to our men's game story, and here's the women's gamer:
TAMPA -- Ranked opponents have given USF trouble this season, but not as much as free throws on Wednesday night.
The Bulls gave No. 7 Louisville a scare, cutting an 18-point lead to six with six minutes to play, but a frustrating 14-for-28 night at the line doomed USF in a 76-60 loss at the Sun Dome.
USF (14-4, 1-3 in Big East) led 23-21 with four minutes left in the first half, but saw Louisville (17-1, 4-0) score the next 17 points. Even when star Angel McCoughtry (17 points, 12 rebounds) fouled out with 5:07 left and a nine-point lead, the Cardinals pulled away without their top player.
"It was a three-possession game, and Louisville scored on four of five possessions without her on the floor. That's where we needed to buckle down and get stops," coach Jose Fernandez said. "We left a lot of points on the free-throw line, at crucial times, too."
Center Jessica Lawson had 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds for USF, but the Bulls' top two scorers struggled, as guards Shantia Grace and Jazmine Sepulveda went a combined 6-for-27 from the field, with 12 of the Bulls' 24 turnovers. The Bulls fell to 0-3 against ranked teams, with another tough game ahead Saturday at Pittsburgh.