Bulls scare No. 2 Baylor in close loss

Bethy Mununga recorded her fourth double-double of the season in USF’s loss to No. 2 Baylor on Tuesday night. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/GOUSFBULLS

It’s not easy to scare No. 2 Baylor in its own home. 

After all, the defending national champions have won their first three games this season by an average of more than 70 points.

Despite Baylor’s 12-point win Tuesday night, the Bulls made the Bears sweat.

By way of junior Bethy Mununga’s third consecutive, and fourth overall, double-double, No. 22 USF (4-1) held its own in a 58-46 loss against Baylor (4-0) and kept the Bears from dominating Tuesday night at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.

Mununga scored 16 points (6-of-12 from the field) and registered 12 rebounds. She was statistically the most effective shooter on the court overall.

Alongside Mununga, sophomore Elisa Pinzan also scored in double digits with a season-high 14 points. Pinzan went 4-of-7 from beyond the arc and scored the most 3-pointers in the game.

USF also outrebounded Baylor 35-33. The Bulls have now outrebounded all five of their opponents.

The Bulls fell behind by as many as 10 points during the first half, though USF battled back every time the Baylor lead widened. On several occasions, USF had the Baylor lead down to as little as one, with the Bulls even tying things up at one point in the second quarter.

But the Bears — aided by four scorers in double digits — were finally able to pull away late in the fourth quarter after USF had made it a three-point game again .

While Pinzan and Mununga delivered, the Bulls’ leading scorer, junior Enna Pehadzic, went 1-of-10 from the field.

It wasn’t just Pehadzic with an off-night — the Bulls were poor as a team from the field, going 17-of-59 (29 percent).

Free throws also sunk USF. The Bulls went 5-of-13 at the line, while the Bears went 25-of-39.

The Bulls were also plagued by personal fouls. As a team, USF accumulated 28 fouls. Shae Leverett, Kristyna Brabencova and Tamara Henshaw fouled out, while Mununga finished with four.

Despite the loss, USF undoubtedly weathered its first road test of the season. After all, prior to Tuesday’s game, Baylor hadn’t scored less than 90 points all season.

The Bulls return to Tampa to face Saint Francis (Pa.) on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Yuengling Center.