No. 20 South Florida women are holding back Thomas, Cincinnati

CINCINNATI (AP) – Sydni Harvey scored 21 points, Bethy Mununga had 13 points and 14 rebounds, and No. 20 South Florida retired late Tuesday to beat Cincinnati 73-61, furthering IImar’I Thomas’s performance with more than 30 points impaired.

Harvey’s fifth 3-pointer gave the Bulls a 55-53 lead and they wouldn’t run after 13 points from Thomas in the fourth quarter. Cincinnati’s only other double-digit goalscorer, Arame Niang, was fouled 3:50 and USF scored seven of the next nine points for a 10-point lead.

Kristyna Brabencova added 10 points and six rebounds, and Elisa Pinzan had a career height of 11 assists for South Florida (5-1, 2-0 American Athletic Conference).

Thomas, who finished fourth in the nation with 27.4 points per game, scored 32 points with six rebounds, five assists and four steals for Cincinnati (1-5, 0-2). For the third time this season she scored more than 30 points and reached eighth place in the program history with Jolinda Lewis (1,523).

USF climbed three spots in the AP Top 25 poll on Monday, despite not having played since the AAC game opened against Memphis on December 13th. The Bull’s scheduled game against Houston last Saturday was postponed due to COVID-19 issues under the Cougars program.

USF led by up to 16 points in the first quarter, but Cincinnati opened the second quarter with a 14-2 run to get within 28:27. The Bulls were leading 33-29 at break.

Niang, a 6-foot-3 striker, had 12 points on 6-of-7. The Bearcats were outperformed 40-23.

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