Around the American WBB: USF upsets Ohio State

Besides UConn, the top-ranked team in the American, beating No. 4 Louisville 69-58 on Monday night, there were plenty of other games in the conference this past weekend that packed a punch.

The biggest win besides UConn’s was No. 22 USF (20-5, 9-2 AAC) defeating No. 11 Ohio State (20-6, 9-3 Big 10) 84-65 on Sunday. The win secured USF’s sixth season with at least 20 wins. It was the Bulls’ first win over a Top-15 team since defeating Louisville in 2013.

The star of that game was USF’s Kitija Laksa. The junior guard notched a career-high 41 points, which matches the American’s single-game record.

Another notable player in the USF game was the Bulls’ Maria Jespersen. The senior forward recorded her 13th double-double of the season in the game with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Jespersen contributed heavily to the Bulls’ ruling the boards in the game with a 46-26 margin.

“That was a great atmosphere here in the Dome,” USF’s head coach Jose Fernandez said. “I'm really proud of our group, the way that we shared it. I know Kit had a special day, and having Maria and Kit shoot the ball as they did. I thought the biggest thing we wanted to do was rebound collectively, hold them to one shot and try and get out and run and score in transition. That was the biggest thing for us… I'm really proud of our guys. I think it was a great game for women's basketball and national TV as well.”

The Bulls play next at 7 p.m. on Wednesday versus SMU.

Another big win within the conference was UCF (17-8, 9-3 AAC) beating Temple (10-14, 2-9 AAC) 64-57 on Saturday. It was UCF’s first win ever at Temple.

The Knights were able to hold the Owls to just five points in the first quarter.

The stars of the game for UCF were guards Zakiya Saunders and Korneilia Wright, who each scored a hefty 18 points.

The Knights will return to action on Feb. 18, hosting No. 22 USF at 12 p.m.

The final big game of the weekend was Houston’s 83-77 loss to Tulsa (9-16, 3-9 AAC) on Saturday. Despite opening up the second quarter with an 18-4 run, Houston (19-7, 8-4 AAC) fell short of their ninth second-half comeback of the season.

For Houston, the star of the game was Angela Harris, who posted a career-high 26 points.

Houston will next play against ECU on Saturday at 3 p.m.


Mariana Dominguez is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at mariana.dominguez@uconn.edu.