Curl up with this year's Housing Guide for dorm friendly recipes, curfew throwbacks and more, click here

Women’s basketball dominates in final War on I-4 matchup

Senior guard Elena Tsineke scored 19 points in a blowout victory to wrap up the War on I-4 rivalry. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

South Florida women’s basketball wrapped its final War on I-4 on Wednesday in Orlando, beating Central Florida 73-44 to conclude a fifty year annual rivalry before UCF’s departure to the Big 12.

The two teams first played in 1973 and quickly became one of the most anticipated conference matchups. USF has dominated the rivalry, posting a 29-16 record over 50 seasons. The Bulls blew out the Knights earlier this season, beating them 83-51 on Jan. 22.

USF (23-5, AAC 12-1) is coming off a heartbreaking 71-69 loss versus Houston that gave it its first conference loss of the season and snapped a 12 game win streak. 

The Bulls came into Wednesday’s matchup with a furious defense, holding UCF (11-12, AAC  2-9) to only 19% shooting from the floor in the first half. The Knights made only five shots in the first half, while the Bulls’ offense continued its stellar play. 

The Bulls held UCF to only 22% shooting from the field, which was the Knight’s the lowest percentage of the season. USF added two blocks and six steals to their defensive showcase. 

Forward Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu continued her incredible senior season by scoring 18 points and 14 rebounds. Senior guard Elena Tsineke added another 19 points, going seven of 13  shooting from the field. Tskieke leads the conference in points scored per game, currently achieving 17.3 points per game.

Junior guard Sammie Puisis was the third Bull scoring double figures with 12 points. She added three three-pointers to her NCAA leading total. 

With the Bulls leading by double digits in the third quarter, the Golden Knights’ student section became less enthusiastic about the game. 

USF is poised for another top seed, being only a few weeks away from the American Athletic Conference Tournament. The Bulls will be playing for their second conference title in three years on Saturday against SMU. 

SMU (15-8, 6-5 AAC) currently sits at fourth in the AAC and is one of the few teams still battling for a top conference spot. Senior guard Jasmine Smith leads the Mustangs with 13.8 points per game.

USF will face off against SMU on Saturday at the Yuengling Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and Bulls Unlimited.