TAMPA — Courtney Williams had 26 points and 11 rebounds and Alisia Jenkins 16 points and 13 rebounds Saturday night as USF won its fourth straight game, 72-51 over SMU in its final home game of the season.
The Bulls (17-11, 12-5) dominated the first 14 minutes and the final 10 to tie Rutgers for third place in the American Athletic Conference. USF visits the Scarlet Knights on Monday night. The third seed in the conference tournament would be in the bracket opposite Connecticut and would avoid the top-ranked Huskies until the tournament final.
Senior Akila McDonald had 10 rebounds in her final regular-season home game as the Bulls outrebounded the Mustangs 56-33, 19-9 on the offensive boards. Senior Inga Orekhova added 11 points, all in the first half.
The Bulls opened with a 9-0 run and led by double digits for all but three minutes of the first half. But USF went scoreless in the final 4:44 of the half and continued its shooting slump in the second, hitting just one of its first 16 attempts as SMU (16-12, 7-10) got within eight.
Jenkins ended the drought with two jumpers, and the Bulls pulled away.
NO. 1 UCONN 72, NO. 24 RUTGERS 35: Breanna Stewart and Bria Hartley scored 20 each for the host Huskies (30-0, 17-0), who clinched at least a share of the inaugural American Athletic Conference regular-season title and beat the Scarlet Knights (21-7, 12-5) for the 12th straight time.
NO. 3 L'VILLE 75, UC 51: Tia Gibbs scored 17 for visiting Louisville (28-2, 16-1), which pulled away from Cincinnati in the second half and kept alive its bid for a share of the American Athletic championship.
NO. 8 PENN ST. 77, MICH. 62: Ariel Edwards scored 21 for the host Lions (22-6, 13-3), who clinched a share of their third straight Big Ten title.
NO. 15 OKLA. ST. 67, KANSAS ST. 62: Senior Tiffany Bias scored 17 in her final home game as the host Cowgirls (22-6, 11-6 Big 12) held on.
WASH. 70, NO. 18 CAL 65: Kelsey Plum had 22 points, six rebounds and six assists as the visiting Huskies upset the Golden Bears (21-8, 13-5 Pac-12).
NO. 22 GONZAGA 81, PACIFIC 77: Sunny Greinacher scored a career-high 24 for the Bulldogs (26-4, 16-2), who finished the regular season 16-0 at home.
NO. 23 MTSU 68, UAB 58: Ebony Rowe scored nine straight in a late 12-0 run and finished with 22 points as host Middle Tennessee State (25-4, 14-1) clinched its sixth straight outright Conference USA title.