WNIT First Round: FGCU vs. USF
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The FGCU women's basketball team will host South Florida in the first round of the WNIT Friday evening. Friday's game will be the final home game for FGCU's four seniors. The game can be seen live on A-Sun.TV and tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
Date: Mar. 21
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Arena: Alico Arena
Location: Fort Myers, Fla.
Internet: Livestats are available at FGCUAthletics.com
Video Streaming: Watch the game LIVE at A-Sun.TV
Coaches: FGCU head coach Karl Smesko is 214-56 and is in his ninth year as a head coach, and is 153-29 in six seasons at FGCU. USF head coach Jose Fernandez comes into Friday’s game with a 116-122 career coaching record in eight year’s with the Bulls.
Records: FGCU (21-8); USF (16-15)
Series: This is the 1st meeting between the teams
Looking Ahead: The winner of the FGCU-USF game on Friday will face Florida on Monday, March 24 at 7 p.m. at the O’Connell Center in Gainesville.
South Florida vs. The Atlantic Sun
USF's game vs. FGCU will be the 64th meeting all-time between the Bulls and a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference with USF holding a 43-20 all-time series lead.
USF head coach Jose Fernandez has never lost to an Atlantic Sun Conference school in his seven-plus seasons at the helm of the Bulls ... He comes into the FGCU game with a 9-0 record.
The game with the Eagles on Friday will mark the fourth this season for USF against a team from the Atlantic Sun Conference ... The Bulls have defeated Stetson (86-44) on Nov. 20, North Florida (75-68) on Dec. 5 and Belmont (74-55) on Dec. 19 in the final game of the Cancun Caribbean Challenge.
Last Time Out (vs. West Virginia at the Big East Tourney)
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Olayinka Sanni had 20 points as No. 3 seeded West Virginia (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 14 AP) moved into the Big East semifinals Sunday with a 64-42 win over the No. 11 seed University of South Florida.
LaQuita Owens added 14 points for the Mountaineers (24-6), who will play Louisville in Monday's semifinals. The Cardinals upset Rutgers (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP) 57-56 in their second-round game.
Shantia Grace had 13 points for USF (16-15) which will now await word on a Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) bid. The WNIT will announce it's bracket after the NCAA Selection Show on Monday, March 17.
The Mountaineers, who were delayed in arriving to the tournament by this weekend's snow in the Midwest, had a first-round bye and drew Sunday's final game. But once they finally hit the court, they made quick work of the Bulls.
Owens had eight early points and the Mountaineers broke out to a 16-6 lead. They stretched it from there, holding USF to 20 percent shooting in the first half.
Grace, who scored 25 points in an overtime upset of No. 6 seed Syracuse in the first round, was 3-for-10 from the floor before intermission, but that was half of the team's made shots, and they went into halftime trailing 39-15. She finished 4-of-16, including 1-of-8 from behind the arc.
Eight minutes into the second half, it was 52-22.
Sanni, a 6-foot-2 senior, hit nine of her 14 shots. Owens was 5-of-7 from the field, and had three 3-pointers.
USF, which came in on a three-game winning streak and had won four of six, looked tired. The Bulls had four players log at least 39 minutes against the Orange, and Grace and Jazmine Sepulveda each played all 45 minutes Saturday night.
The team hit just 15-of-59 shots, and was 2-of-23 from 3-point range on Sunday.
West Virginia had beaten USF in their only other meeting this season, 79-73 on Jan. 5.
Grace's 13 points gives her 559 on the season m oving her in to third on the school's single all-time season scoring list. In addition, Porche Grant grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds in the loss, the most since Nalini Miller grabbed the same amount on Jan. 16, 2007 against Louisville.
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