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Williams puts Bulls on her back in loss to Louisville

ORACLE FILE PHOTO/CHUCK MULLER

After playing the entire game and scoring half of the her team’s points Monday, it might be safe to say that the Bulls’ chances of another run in the NCAA tournament lie in the hands of senior guard Courtney Williams.

In Monday night’s 67-50 loss at No. 11 Louisville (20-6,11-1), Williams’ kept No. 19 USF (18-7,11-3) in a game that seemed to have no other consistent scoring options for the Bulls.

Williams, who landed herself on the AAC Weekly Honor Roll  for the eighth time this season early Monday, posted 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists to register her 11th double-double of the season.

In USF’s second nationally televised game of the season, Williams received high praise in the loss to Louisville from longtime ESPN play-by-play announcer Bob Picozzi, calling the 2nd all-time leading scorer in USF program history “one of the best athletes in women’s college basketball.”

The Bulls trailed by only four at halftime. This, after Louisville sophomore guard Arica Carter knocked down a three at the buzzer to give the Cardinals a 31-27 lead at the intermission.

However, turnovers and an uncharacteristically off shooting night untimely doomed the Bulls. The Bulls’ 20 turnovers led to 23 points for the Cardinals, and  they only shot 3-14 (21.4 percent) from behind the arc. 

Freshman forward Kitija Laksa, one of the country’s better 3-point shooters (42 percent), scored only 6 points, going 0-5 from three. Monday was the first time Laksa was held without a three point basket since the Bull’s Dec. 8 contest against Mississippi State.

It did appear that Laksa, who still played 39 minutes, may have been hampered by the medical gauze in her nose. It was not said what   caused the injury.

Senior forward Alisia Jenkins, who has continued to play through injury, led all Bulls once again in rebounds on the night, collecting 13 boards.

Sitting out her 6th straight game was sophomore forward Laura Ferreira, who remains in a walking boot as she recovers from plantar fasciitis. 

The Bulls, who came into Monday’s game the 3rd best free throw shooting team in the country (79.2 percent), went only 3 of 6 from the line, with only two attempts in the second half.

The Bulls return home after spending the weekend on the road, but have the remainder of the week off. A matinee conference game against Memphis waits for the Bulls Sunday afternoon.