Around the American: UCF and Houston remain at the top, Tulane falters in conference play

Central Florida guard Aliyah Gregory (22) fights to keep possession away from Connecticut guard Kia Nurse (11) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Roy K. Miller) Roy K. Miller

UCF:

The UCF Golden Knights took down Tulsa 60-44 and SMU 55-43 this week, as they continued their unbeaten run in conference play. Now 5-0 in the American, UCF sits just under UConn in second place. Wednesday against Tulsa, the Golden Knights were led by guard Korneila Wright who dropped 18 points with five rebounds, seven steals and a couple assists. In her 32 minutes of play, Wright shot just 5-16 from the field, but was 8-10 from the line. Wright showed out again Saturday as she dropped a team-leading 22 points on 9-22 shooting with five steals and five assists over her 39 minutes on the floor. Guard Sydnee McDonald also played well as she put up 19 points on 7-12 shooting in just 26 minutes. UCF is now 16-2 in all competition and have won their last six games.

Houston:

Houston won their only game this week against Wichita State 66-58 Saturday, and they are now 9-8 overall and 3-1 in the American. In this matchup, Houston guard Angela Harris had a team-leading 23 points on 5-12 shooting with five assists, four rebounds and three steals. All of Harris’ field goals made were on three-point attempts, and she only attempted one two-point shot all game. Houston’s Serithia Hawkins grabbed 12 boards in her 39 minutes, which was a game-high. Wichita’s Sabrina Lozada-Cabbage and Carla Bremaud put up 19 and 18 points, respectively, in the losing effort.

Cincinnati:

The Cincinnati Bearcats had a strong week after having to face the two top seeds last week. The team won both of its games by 20 points as they beat Temple 72-52 Wednesday and they beat Tulsa 70-50 Saturday. Against Temple they were led to victory by IImar’I Thomas, Andeija Puckett, and Antoinette Miller. Thomas recorded her fourth double-double of the season with her 22 points and 10 rebounds. Puckett grabbed seven offensive boards, with eight overall, and dropped 15 points. Miller had a near triple-double with 12 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. Saturday Thomas had another strong outing as she put up her fifth double-double on 18 points and 10 boards. Cincinnati (11-7 overall, 3-2 in conference play) are now fifth in the American.

USF:

South Florida capitalized on Tulane loss to UConn prior to their matchup as they hung another L on the Green Wave’s record Saturday. Despite losing three of their last four prior to this game, USF dominated Tulane. The final score was 73-46 as USF got strong performances from Sydni Harvey, Enna Pehadzic and Shae Leverett. Harvey had a game-leading 25 points on 9-17 shooting in 36 minutes. Pehadzic put up 21 with eight boards and five made threes. Leverett recorded a double-double, her third of the year, with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Tulane (13-5 overall, 3-2 in conference play) had one double-digit scorer in Krystal Freeman who had 17 points. USF now sits in seventh place in the conference, behind Tulsa.

Memphis:

In their game against ECU, Memphis came out on top 58-46 behind Taylor Barnes, Jamirah Shutes, and Alana Davis. Barnes dropped 18 points with six boards and three steals in her game-high 37 minutes of play. Shutes grabbed seven boards alongside her 16 points in 34 minutes. Davis picked up 11 points with eight boards, six of those off of the offensive glass, in 35 minutes. Memphis did allow ECU’s Desiree Corbin to grab 14 boards in her 33 minutes on the floor, though. Memphis is now 7-10 overall and 2-2 in the conference as the sit in eighth place.


Mike Mavredakis is a campus correspondent for the Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at michael.quinn-mavredakis@uconn.edu.