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Season ends with blowout loss in WNIT

Published: Monday, March 26, 2012

Updated: Monday, March 26, 2012 01:03

Three rounds into the Women’s National Invitational Tournament, the women’s basketball team’s season ended Friday night in a 72-45 loss to James Madison University in Harrisburg, Va.

The Bulls (19-16, 8-8) traveled to Virginia with momentum after breezing by in-state opponents Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University last week at home by a combined 72 points, but were outmatched by the Dukes.

After scoring 76 and 77 points in their first two games of the tournament, the Bulls’ offense struggled as the shooters went cold, shooting 4-of-30 in the first half and just 21.7 percent for the game.

The Dukes ended their night with three players scoring into double figures: junior guard Tarik Hislop with 17, sophomore guard Kirby Burkholder with 15 and junior guard Jasmine Gill with 11.

Gill’s 11 points were matched by USF’s leading scorer, junior guard Inga Orekhova, who scored four of her points from the free-throw line on a night when she shot 3-of-14 from the field. 

Behind Orekhova was senior guard Jasmine Wynne, who was 4-of-8 from the line and ended the night with 10 points.

The score wouldn’t show it, but defense still proved to be a positive force in the Bulls’ play. USF forced 33 turnovers in the game, which included 16 steals. Wynne led the team in steals, with four. 

Though the 27-point loss to end the season was disappointing, the Bulls still have a lot to be proud of. The team still made the postseason after missing last year, despite Preseason All-Big East First Team selection Andrea Smith sitting out the season while recovering from ACL surgery and playing outside of their usual home court while the Sun Dome undergoes renovations.

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