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Women’s basketball midseason report card

Redshirt senior forward Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu has shot 54% from the field this season. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

Keeping a steady pace throughout this season, South Florida women’s basketball will need to stay consistent as its conference season progresses.

USF (14-4, 3-0 AAC) is currently undefeated in its conference matches and have had good performances against high ranked teams.

This recognition has placed them at the No. 6 seed in the Seattle Bracket, according to ESPN.

https://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/30423107/ncaa-women-bracketology-2023-women-college-basketball-projections

Midseason heartbreak of the year

Ohio State beats USF 88-86

In their first round at the San Diego Invitational on Dec. 20, the Bulls had to face one of the highest ranked opponents in the nation.

Ohio State is currently undefeated and sits at No. 3 overall in the AP Poll.

South Florida started off the first quarter strong, surpassing the Buckeyes (17-0, 6-0 Big Ten) 21-11 in points, but were unable to maintain that dominance throughout the rest of the match.

The Bulls fought hard, heading into overtime with the Buckeyes and even tying with them at one point in the third quarter. USF ultimately fell short at the end with a close loss of 88-86.

Midseason game of the year

USF beats Arkansas 66-65

The Bulls were able to redeem themselves in the second round of the San Diego Invitational against Arkansas who currently sit at No. 15 on the AP Poll.

Despite starting their first half slow and only scoring five points in the second quarter, the team picked up the pace in the second half and put Arkansas (16-3, 3-1 Sun Belt) under pressure.

It was a close call for South Florida but the Bulls were able to persevere and get a tight win of 66-65.

Midseason Surprise Player of the Year

Carla Brito

Freshman wing Carla Brito has left a mark in her debut season with the Bulls, averaging 27.1 minutes of playing time per game.

Brito was honored on Dec. 16 with the Freshman of the Week award by the AAC after her performance against Marshall and La Salle.

Brito accumulated her career high of 26 points in a single game against New Hampshire on Nov. 22, and now averages 8.9 points per game.

Midseason players of the year

Sammie Puisis and Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu

Redshirt senior forward Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu and junior guard Sammie Puisis have both been an asset to the South Florida team this season.

Mendjiadeu’s performance against Ohio State proved her talent with 34 points, 17 rebounds and an 11-15 field goal percentage within 40 minutes of playing time.

Puisis also has a solid three-point shot accuracy on the court. She averages 55-149
and has 291 points under her belt within 626 minutes of play time this season.

Puisis notched her all time career high in points against Wichita University on Saturday with 26 points, helping the team score their 69-46 win over the WuShocks (11-5, 1-2 AAC).

Looking forward

South Florida will need to continue with its game-winning mentality if they want to secure the AAC Championship title.

Some challenging opponents the team will have to face are Tulsa University and East Carolina.

East Carolina’s (11-5, 2-1 AAC) top point scorer, senior guard Danae McNeal, averages 14.7 shots per game. Tulsa’s (13-3, 3-0 AAC) strong offense averages over 75 points per game.

USF’s next match will be on Wednesday against Memphis University.

Afterwards, the Bulls will be heading to the NCAA tournament in Fort Worth, Texas in early March. The opponents for these games are still unannounced.

Grade: A-