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USF basketball on the road: Women’s dominates, men’s loses close fight

Senior forward Dulcy Mendjiadeu put up a strong 25 point, 15 rebound game to give the Bulls a huge win over Tulsa. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO.

As USF women’s and men’s basketball get into the thick of their conference schedules, each matchup will now make or break their opportunities for advancing into the postseason.

Here is how both programs finished their matchups on Wednesday on the road.

Women’s basketball – USF 89, Tulsa 68

Senior forward Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu put up 25 points, 15 rebounds and a career-high four assists against Tulsa to lead USF to a 89-68 victory and extend its conference success.

Mendjiadeu’s performance put the Bulls (19-4, 8-0 AAC) in a position to dominate the Golden Hurricane (15-5, 5-2 AAC). Although USF only held a three-point advantage in the first quarter, speedy offensive production and a tightened defense gave them a 41-31 lead at the end of the first half.

To support the forward, senior guard Elena Tsineke put up 21 points. She shot 50% from the field and was three for three from the free-throw line.

The Bulls struggled from the three-point line throughout the game, shooting only 33%. Junior guard Sammie Puisis shot a dismal three of eight from beyond the arc. Neither team showed the ability to score threes, with the Golden Hurricane only shooting 32%.

However, the Bulls’ shooting had no effect on their interior scoring. They racked up 56 points in the paint and 46 rebounds for the game. The Bulls dominated the Golden Hurricane 46-26 in rebounds while keeping a 20-point lead throughout almost the entirety of the second half.

Women’s basketball continues their streak in the American conference, winning eight straight games and remaining undefeated. This win is also the Bulls’ 11th straight win against Tulsa since 2015.

South Florida will continue its road trip to Tennessee where the program will face Memphis on Saturday at 3 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and Bulls Unlimited.

Men’s basketball – USF 76, Temple 79

Despite its best efforts, USF men’s basketball came up short to Temple 79-76 due to free throw and turnover troubles.

The Bulls (9-12, 2-6 AAC) lost a close overtime game to the Owls (13-9, 7-2 AAC) despite multiple opportunities to take the lead. While the game continued to be close throughout both halves, the Owls just barely held on in overtime to win after a few crunch-time USF turnovers.

USF and Temple both started strong early, each with a fast-paced offense in the first five minutes of the game. Both sides began to slow down with frequent scoring droughts. The Bulls were only shooting 43.3% from the field and the Owls 42.9%. As both teams struggled, the first half ended in a 34-34 tie.

Fifth-year forward Keyshawn Bryant led the Bulls with 21 points while shooting 67% from the field. Junior center Russel Tchewa and sophomore guard Selton Miguel also contributed on the floor putting up 15 points each.

Steals and fastbreak buckets were prominent on both sides, leading to many turnover-led scoring runs. The Owls ended with 17 turnovers while the Bulls had 16.

Temple managed to take a 10-point lead with nine minutes left in the second half, but two scoring runs from the Bulls and a game-tying bucket by Tchewa allowed USF to tie the game 70-70 at the end of regulation.

After a turnover from Tchewa on offense, the Owls shot two late-game free throws to extend their score from 77 to 79 over the Bulls’ 76 points.

Aside from turnovers, one of the biggest factors to Wednesday’s loss was poor free-throw shooting – the Bulls only shot 38%. If USF was able to hit its shots from the free-throw line early on, it would’ve put the Bulls in a better position at the end of the second half.

Men’s basketball will face off against the SMU Mustangs on Sunday at 4 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.