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USF women defeat Memphis on road in conference opener

The No. 23 Bulls use a strong second quarter to pull away for their third straight victory.
USF's Elisa Pinzan, shown here during a Dec. 5, 2020, game, scores 19 points to lead the Bulls to a win over Memphis on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020.
USF's Elisa Pinzan, shown here during a Dec. 5, 2020, game, scores 19 points to lead the Bulls to a win over Memphis on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. [ MARK LOMOGLIO | Associated Press ]
Published Dec. 17, 2020

MEMPHIS — Elisa Pinzan scored 19, Elena Tsineke added 14 and No. 23 USF beat Memphis 65-58 Wednesday in the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams.

The Bulls (4-1) outscored the Tigers 15-6 in the second quarter — with eight points from Pinzan — for a 31-26 lead, and started the third on an 8-0 run — with six points from Tsineke — for a 13-point advantage. Memphis (2-3) cut it to 61-58 on an Aerial Wilson layup with 58 seconds left, but Pinzan sealed it at the free-throw line for the Bulls’ third straight win.

Sydni Harvey scored 12 and Bethy Mununga grabbed 10 rebounds for USF. It was Mununga’s 22nd double-figure rebounding game of her career, including in all five games this season.

The Bulls took care of the ball on against Memphis, only turning it over a season-low seven times.

The win over draws the Bulls closer to leveling the all-time series against the Tigers (15-13). USF has won five of the past seven games and 11 of 14 since the 2004-05 season.

Shae Leverett continues to move up the school’s career blocked shot and rebounding charts. Against Memphis, Leverett had four blocks bringing her to 87 for her career and passing former teammate Tamara Henshaw (2016-20) in eighth place. In addition, Leverett’s six rebounds against the Tigers gave her 551 for her career, moving her into sole possession of 18th place on USF’s career rebounding list, surpassing Porche Grant (2006-09).

Up next for the Bulls is their final home game for 2020, at 7 p.m. Saturday against Houston at the Yuengling Center. USF closes out the calendar year with two straight on the road — at Cincinnati on Dec. 22 (2 p.m.) and at Tulsa on Dec. 30 (7 p.m.).