Fernandez, multiple players take home conference honors

On the heels of one of the most accomplished regular seasons in program history, the USF women’s basketball team saw many of its players win AAC awards Sunday afternoon. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

After winning the first regular-season conference title in program history, coach Jose Fernandez and five players earned a variety of conference awards for their play, the AAC announced Sunday afternoon.

Sophomores Elena Tsineke and Maria Alvarez, juniors Sydni Harvey and Elisa Pinzan, and senior Bethy Mununga were all recognized for the impressive abilities they showcased on the court during the regular season.

Fernandez was also named the AAC Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year. This is the second time in his career he’s earned the title, the first being in 2018 when he led the Bulls to a 26-8 overall record.

This season, USF is 15-3 and appears poised to make runs in both the upcoming AAC and NCAA tournaments.

As for the players, Pinzan was tabbed the conference’s most improved player and Alvarez was chosen as the co-sixth player of the year with UCF’s Alisha Lewis.

Pinzan has been the driving engine in USF’s offense all season, leading the conference with seven assists per game. Alvarez has served as a microwave off the bench averaging 7.8 points per game while shooting 39% from behind the three-point line, good for fourth best in the AAC.

Tsineke and Mununga were also honored by being chosen to be part of the All-Conference First Team. Pinzan earned a second-team designation, while Harvey earaned a spot on the third team.

Mununga currently averages a double-double with 11.1 points and 12.7 rebounds per game. That rebounding number leads the conference by a wide margin, with Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu of Memphis being the nearest player, averaging 10.6.

While the conference awards serve as recognition for the play of the team so far this season, the job is not done yet. The Bulls are preparing for the AAC quarterfinals where they will take on the winner of the Tulsa-Wichita State game, set for March 8 at 2:30 p.m.

The entire AAC tournament will take place at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Bulls will play either the Golden Hurricane or the Shockers on March 10 at 3 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN+ and broadcast on 95.3/620 WDAE/iHeartRadio Bulls Unlimited.