USF women lose at Rutgers, baseball wins at UCF
After two wins against ranked opponents last week, USF's women's basketball team lost at Rutgers on Tuesday night, putting the Bulls back squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble with just two regular-season games left.
The Bulls (19-8, 8-6 in Big East) let Rutgers end a four-game losing streak, but the Scarlet Knights came in with only two home losses and a 36-1 record all-time against the Bulls. USF lost despite forcing 23 Rutgers turnovers -- the Bulls were outrebounded 36-27 and shot just 29 percent from the field, including a 20 percent mark on 3-pointers. Freshman Courtney Williams led the Bulls with 15 points, while USF's top three perimeter shooters, twins Andrea and Andrell Smith and Inga Orekhova, shot a combined 9-for-42, including 2-for-18 beyond the arc.
USF had moved into ESPN.com's projected NCAA field after the two wins last week, but this loss likely means the Bulls must win either Saturday at home against No. 3 Connecticut or in Monday's regular-season finale at Georgetown. The Bulls are tied for sixth in the Big East standings, but would lose tiebreakers with DePaul (8-6) and Villanova (7-6) based on head-to-head results.
Meanwhile, USF baseball bounced back from a 1-5 start with a solid 6-4 win at Central Florida, getting four scoreless innings in the first career start for sophomore Mikey Clarkson. USF's 3-4 hitters, James Ramsay and Jimmy Falla, each had two hits, combining for three RBIs; redshirt freshman Nik Alfonso continued his strong start with two hits and two runs scored. Steven Leasure pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save of the season.
Another busy day ahead today, with softball playing host to No. 5 Florida at 6 p.m. and men's basketball playing at No. 23 Pittsburgh at 7:30.