While UConn continues to dominate the American Athletic Conference, USF and Temple have been the next tier. The Bulls and the Owls both lost this week, but still maintain a two game lead over the next group of teams in the standings.
USF (18-4, 7-2 the American) lost to Memphis for just their second loss in American play. The Tigers (11-12, 4-6 the American) won 62-57 behind 22 points and 9 rebounds from junior forward Cheyenne Creighton. USF beat Cincinnati 72-52 earlier in the week, as junior Maria Jespersen scored a career-high 26 points. The Bulls came into this week’s AP Poll ranked No. 22, down from No. 20 after the loss to Memphis.
Following their first conference loss last week to USF, Temple continued a tough schedule this week, hosting first place UConn before traveling to Tulane to play the fourth place Green Wave. The Owls (18-5, 8-2 the American) couldn’t handle the Huskies, and were handed their second conference loss in a row. But Temple bounced back on Sunday, dominating Tulane 76-50 on the back of junior Donnaizha Fountain. Fountain scored 26 points and recorded eight rebounds and seven steals in the convincing win, enough for Temple to receive votes in this week’s AP Poll. The Green Wave move to 6-4 in American play with the loss.
Houston and ECU faced off in a battle for last place in the standings and the Cougars (9-14, 2-8 the American) emerged with a 73-62 victory. Freshman guard Angela Harris scored 19 points for Houston as they ended their eight game losing streak. ECU (10-13, 1-9 the American) lost their eighth straight game despite 26 points from Bre McDonald.
In the middle of the standings, Tulsa suffered blowout losses to UConn and Temple. The Golden Hurricane (8-16, 4-7 the American) fall to eighth in the standings, as SMU and Memphis went 1-0 this week to move past Tulsa.
Next week, Tulane visits USF for a big matchup at the top of the American. Tulane also hosts fifth place Cincinnati in what will be a tough week for the Green Wave. UConn will also host No. 6 South Carolina in the only nonconference game of the week.
Josh Buser is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.