TAMPA — In lieu of a fling with March Madness, USF's women kept conveying the following March message Thursday night: The NCAA Tournament selection committee missed the boat on the Bulls.
In one of its stingiest defensive efforts of the year, USF rendered George Washington frigid from the floor (31.9 percent) and scored 20 of the first half's last 23 points en route to a 74-59 victory in a WNIT third-rounder.
USF (22-12), unbeaten this calendar year against teams not named Louisville or Connecticut, next plays at Mississippi State at 6 p.m. Sunday.
"We're trying to prove everybody wrong, that we were supposed to be in the NCAA Tournament," said senior Inga Orekhova, who scored all 14 of her points after halftime. "So every game that we play, we have the killer mentality like, 'We're going to win, we're going to run over them, we're going to prove everybody wrong.' "
Sophomore Courtney Williams had 24 points and 12 rebounds, including 10 during the decisive run before halftime. She became the third player in program history to reach 550 points in a season.
Sophomore forward Alisia Jenkins notched her 14th double double of the season (11 points and 12 rebounds), while Orekhova had 14 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.