Elena Tsineke scored 18 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:32 remaining, to help South Florida to a 57-53 win over Washington State in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament on Sunday night in Austin, Texas.
Tsineke’s driving shot, which came soon after a 3-pointer by Washington State’s Charlisse Leger-Walker, gave the eighth-seeded Bulls (19-3) a 54-53 lead.
The ninth-seeded Cougars (12-12) had several chances to overtake South Florida, but Leger-Walker missed two driving shots and was called for traveling, all during the final 1:07. The Bulls hit free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Leger-Walker, an all-Pac-12 selection and the league’s freshman of the year, matched Tsineke’s 18 points but converted only 4 of 18 field goal attempts, including 2 of 10 3-pointers.
Johanna Teder supported Leger-Walker with 16 points.
South Florida converted 11 of 16 shots in the second quarter – including its first six – to take a 38-29 halftime lead. The Bulls needed that boost because they hit 5 of 21 shots in the first quarter.
Tsineke finished the half with 12 points. Leger-Walker scored 11 in the half but was less efficient than Tsineke.
Leger-Walker, well guarded by South Florida, hit 2 of 8 shots but made all six of her free throws.
Washington State pulled even by the end of the third quarter, not by shooting well but by limiting South Florida to three baskets and seven points. — Associated Press
NCAA Championships / YouTube
4:49 – WSU 9, USF 6: Johanna Teder has five points and the Cougars have the lead on the Bulls midway through the quarter.
Teder connected on the first shot of the game, a 3-pointer. Krystal Leger-Walker also hit a 3 for WSU as it jumped out to a 6-0 lead.
Sydni Harvey has four points to lead South Florida.
WSU 15, USF 13: Cougars lead by 2 after both teams shot the ball poorly in the opening quarter.
Washington State shot 25% and made 2 of 7 3-pointers.
South Florida is at 23.8% shooting and has made only 1 of 5 3s.
Johanna Teder’s five points leads WSU. Charlisse Leger-Walker has four points.
Sydni Harvey has four points to lead the Bulls.
6:24 – USF 27, WSU 19: The Bulls make their first six shots to start the quarter and lead by 8.
USF 38, WSU 29: Elena Tsineke has 12 points and the Bulls used a big second quarter to take a nine-point halftime lead on the Cougars.
South Florida made its first six shots of the second quarter and used a 14-3 run to build a 10-point lead midway through the period. The Bulls got the lead to as large as 12 and won outscored the Cougs 25-14 in the quarter.
Charlisse Leger-Walker leads Washington State with 11 points on 2-of-8 shooting. The Cougars are shooting just 32.0% and have made 4 of 12 3-pointers.
WSU has committed eight turnovers which USF has turned into 12 points. The Bulls also hold a 20-4 edge in paint points.
Johanna Teder has added five points for Washington State. Emma Nankervis has four.
Sydni Harvey has eight points for South Florida. The Bulls shot 68.8% in the second quarter and made three 3-pointers.
5:20 – USF 39, WSU 38: A dominant start to the third quarter has the Cougars within one of the Bulls.
Washington State has outscored South Florida 9-1 in the period and are on a 14-3 run since late in the second quarter.
Charlisse Leger-Walker has 13 points to lead WSU. The freshman is 8 of 8 from the free-throw line.
WSU 45, USF 45: The Cougars and Bulls head into third quarter tied after WSU held USF to seven points in the third quarter.
South Florida made just 25% of its shots in the quarter as WSU erased a nine-point halftime deficit.
Charlisse Leger-Walker has 15 points to lead WSU. Johanna Teder has added 13 points on 3 of 7 from 3-point range.
Elena Tsineke’s 12 points leads USF. Tsineke did not score in the quarter, missing five shots.
5:18 – USF 50, WSU 47: Low scoring-start to the quarter as the Bulls lead by three.
Elisa Pinzan made a 3-pointer for the Bulls to break a 45-45 tie. She has 10 points with two made 3s.
WSU center Bella Murekatete scored to pull the Cougs within one. Murekatete has six points and eight rebounds.
Elena Tsineke answered for USF with a jumper and she now has 14 points to lead the Bulls.
1:37 – WSU 53, USF 52: Charlisse Leger-Walker makes a 3-pointer and the Cougs lead by one.
0:25 – USF 56, WSU 53: Elena Tsineke’s layup gave the Bulls the lead and two free throws from Elisa Pinzan have them up three on the Cougs.
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