The Tulsa women's basketball team dropped a 79-46 decision to USF on Wednesday night at the Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla. TU fell to 14-11 on the season and 9-5 in the American Athletic Conference, while USF moved to 21-5 overall and 12-2 in the league.
"We just couldn't score," Head Coach Matilda Mossman said. "We held them scoreless in the first four possessions, but then we couldn't score as well. At the start of the game we weren't attacking offensively. They are a good team. They've won 21 games. I didn't think we had enough fight in us tonight."
Ashley Clark had a team-best 13 points, eight rebounds and two steals in 23 minutes of play.Kelsee Grovey added 10 points, while Ashley Hughes scored six points and also pulled down eight boards, and Teanna Reid tallied four assists. Mariah Turner had four points and six rebounds before leaving the game with 15 minutes left to play due to injury.
TU shot 28-percent from the field, including just 19-percent from three-point range, and 66-percent from the free throw line, compared to USF's 41-percent from the field, 21-percent from behind the arc and 65-percent from the charity stripe.
The Bulls had a 57-38 lead in rebounds, a 15-9 advantage in assists, a 7-4 lead in blocks, a 14-5 advantage in steals and had just 12 turnovers to TU's 19.
USF had three players post double-doubles and five players score in double figures. Courtney Williams had a game-best 17 points, Maria Jespersen and Alisia Jenkins each tallied 13 points, and Laura Ferreira and Shaleth Stringfield both scored 11. Jespersen and Ferreira both had 11 rebounds and Alisia Jenkins had 10.
The Bulls outscored Tulsa, 20-4, in the first 8:29 off the clock in the second frame to take a 56-27 lead and climbed to a game-best 35-point advantage at the 3:54 mark.
Both teams struggled from the start, as USF had a 4-0 lead until the 13:18 mark, but the Bulls were able to turn it around, scoring 19 points in the next 5:46 off the clock to take a 23-5 advantage at the 7:16 mark. TU hit five of their next seven shot attempts to trail 29-16 with 3:44 left in the half, including two free throws by Reid. TU cut the deficit to 11 as Grovey hit two free throws on a technical by Jenkins at the 3:33 mark, but the Golden Hurricane trailed by 13, 36-23, at the break.
Tulsa shot 24-percent from the field, including just 15-percent from behind the arc, but went 5-of-6 from the charity stripe for 83-percent, while USF shot 39-percent from the field, but only hit 1-of-9 three-point attempts for 11-percent and were 5-of-10 from the free throw line.
TU had nine turnovers with just 7:16 left in the first half, but allowed only one turnover to close out the half, while USF had seven turnovers.
Tulsa will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 21st against top-ranked UConn. The game is set to begin at 2:07 pm at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.