Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bulls Defeat Cincy, 68-58, To Advance In BIG EAST Tourney

Jazmine Sepulveda hit a career-high eight 3-point shots and scored 24 points as the University of South Florida beat Cincinnati 68-58 Saturday in the second round of the BIG EAST tournament.

Shantia Grace added 13 points and 10 assists for the eighth-seeded Bulls (22-9), who will play top-ranked and undefeated Connecticut in Sunday's quarterfinals.

Jill Stephens led Cincinnati, the 16th seed, with 15 points. The Bearcats, who upset Marquette in the first round on Friday, finish the season 14-17.

USF led by a point at halftime, and came out after intermission on a 10-2 run, and improved its record when leading at the half to 17-1.

The Bulls hit 14-of-25 shots from behind the arc, while Cincinnati was just 5-of-17 from 3-point range. the 14 trey's that USF hit also marked a single game BIG EAST Tournament record. In addition, the Bulls hit double-digit three pointers for the seventh time this year and the first since Jan. 20 when they hit 12 (12-27) at Providence.

The win was the fourth in a row for the Bulls (22-9) and their sixth in their last eight games. The 22 wins is the most in any season in the program's history.

A senior guard, Sepulveda set a career high with eight 3-pointers; the mark is tied for the second highest single-game total in school history joining Grace who hit for eight trey's against Coppin State earlier this year on Nov. 23. For the record, Sepulveda’s career high is 26 points.

In addition to Sepulveda and Grace's double-digit performances, Jessica Lawson grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with eight points. Leading scorer Danielle Starzynski had a tough night scoring just 9 points on 4-19 shooting in just 14 minutes of play.

On the afternoon, USF shot 46.9 percent from the field (23-49) and 56 percent (14-25) from behind the three-point arc.

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