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Bulls move up to No. 16 in this week’s AP Poll

The Bulls once again rose in the AP Poll this week. USF jumped two spots after blowout wins over Wichita State and Houston. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

Following a pair of dominant wins over two more conference opponents, USF women’s basketball (9-1, 6-0 AAC) has risen two spots in Monday’s  AP Top 25 Poll going from No. 18 to  No. 16.

The Bulls have been on an upward trajectory in the polls for several weeks now. Since Dec. 28, USF has jumped five spots, tied with Maryland for most in the country.

It’s no mystery as to why coach Jose Fernandez’s team is surging in the national rankings. Since the Bulls’ only loss of the season to No. 6 Baylor on Dec. 1, USF has been flawless.

Coming into the season as the favorites to win the AAC title for the first time in program history, the Bulls are living up to that billing, going a perfect 6-0 in conference play and winning eight games in a row dating back to their nonconference schedule.

The dominant play continued into this week’s slate of games as USF throttled Wichita State and Houston, respectively, by double digits. The standout performances from those wins came courtesy of sophomore guards Elena Tsineke and Maria Alvarez.

In the 66-48 win over Tulsa, Tsineke exploded for a career-high 31 points on an extremely efficient 11-of-16 from the field and 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. It was USF’s first 30-point game by a single player since the 2018-2019 season.

Alvarez was not to be left behind, however. Against Houston, her unique scoring ability was on display as she too recorded a career-high 23 points in just 20 minutes off the bench. Alvarez knocked down six 3-pointers in the game.

USF’s next game is Wednesday night as the Bulls travel to New Orleans to take on Tulane. The game will tip off at 8 p.m., will be televised on ESPN+ and broadcast on 95.3/620 WDAE/iHeartRadio Bulls Unlimited.