TAMPA (Florida Sports Wire) — The University of South Florida women’s basketball team turned in a dominating performance on Sunday afternoon as the Bulls defeated rival Central Florida, 83-51, in front of a raucous crowd of 4,227 at the Yuengling Center in this season’s first edition of the War on I-4. The win improves South Florida to 18-4 on the year and 7-0 in the American Athletic Conference while the Knights fall to 10-8 on the year and a dismal 1-5 in The American.
In addition, the Bulls move to 11-0 at home this season and extend their home winning streak to 14 games dating back to last year, a streak that was the eighth longest in the nation coming into Sunday’s game.
South Florida, who had four players in double figures in the scoring column, was led by Elena Tsineke’s 21 points and 18 points and 13 rebounds from Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu. Carla Brito and Sammie Puisis added 13 and 12 points, respectively. Aerial Wilson dished out eight assists in the win. In all, 10 of the 11 players that saw the court this afternoon found their way into the scoring column.
The Bulls jumped on Central Florida early and led wire-to-wire leaving no doubt in the outcome right from the opening tip. South Florida led 15-2 just over six minutes into the contest on a Tsineke step-back jumper in the lane, and 23-12 at the end of the first quarter.
The Knights never found their way back into single digits the rest of the afternoon as the Bulls extended their lead to 20 points, and took a 46-24 lead into the locker room at the half behind 16 points from Tsineke and 11 from Brito.
The South Florida bench got significant minutes during the second half and contributed 19 points, as the Green and Gold, pushed their lead to as many as 33 points, 81-48, on a driving layup by Emma Johansson late in the fourth quarter.
The Bulls dictated the tempo of the game outscoring the Knights, 21-0 in fast break points, and took advantage of Central Florida’s 19 turnovers turning the miscues into 22 points.
In addition, South Florida had 22 assists during the afternoon on 31 made field goals.
With the win, South Florida Head Coach Jose Fernandez recorded his 115th career conference win in The American, just three shy of tying UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma’s 118 league wins in the AAC, and four from becoming The American’s all-time leader in conference wins.