Around the Hilltop

While a series of away games have kept things quiet on the Hilltop this past weekend, the Dons have been tearing it up outside of San Francisco.

This past week saw the USF women’s tennis team travel to New Jersey, where they would take on the Princeton University Tigers.

Due to inclement weather, neither team was able to compete in doubles action. Junior Emily Maxfield recorded the Dons’ sole victory as she downed her opponent in three sets, 2-6, 6-2, 3-1 (retired). Senior Shanna Dos Santos started out strong by winning the first set, but ended up dropping the following two sets, leading to a 6-3, 1-6, 4-6 defeat.

The Tigers wound up beating the Dons 4-1, and subsequently handed USF its first loss of the season.

On the other side of the country, USF men’s tennis team went up against the University of Southern California Trojans.

The Trojans came out firing on all cylinders and swept the Dons in doubles competition, securing both the doubles point and an early lead. Freshman Phuc Huynh’s closely contested straight-set loss clinched a 7-0 victory for the Trojans and gave the Dons their first loss of the young season.

Dons action spilled over to the hardwood as USF men’s basketball team took on the Gaels of Saint Mary’s College of California.

Leading 4-2, USF’s early momentum came to an abrupt halt after the Gaels called a timeout. When action resumed, Saint Mary’s responded with a 12-2 run and found themselves leading the Dons 14-6. The first half belonged to the Gaels as they led the Dons 47-30 heading into the locker rooms.

Momentum began to sway in favor of USF as senior Frankie Ferrari and freshman Charles Minlend sank back-to-back three-pointers. With a little over a minute left in the second half, another three-pointer by Minlend brought the Gaels’ lead down to seven. Freshman Nate Renfro and freshman Jordan Ratinho brought the deficit down to three points with 21 seconds left, but Saint Mary’s subdued a last-minute comeback and downed their West Coast Conference rival, 86-80.

Ferrari and Minlend were on fire, both ending their night with 22 points scored. Minlend led the team in rebounds while Ferrari led the team in minutes played.

The action continued in California as the USF women’s basketball team took on their South Bay rival, the Santa Clara University Broncos.

After putting the first points up on the board, the Dons found themselves leading the Broncos throughout the entire game.

Despite their early lead, things got a little shaky for USF in the second quarter as they went on a scoring drought. The Dons missed nine straight baskets, but their defense made up for it by holding the Broncos to one basket. USF rectified their woes by going on a 6-0 run that brought their lead to seven points heading into the fourth quarter.  

With just two minutes of play left, junior Shannon Powell sank a three-pointer that stretched the Dons’ lead to eight. USF refused to let Santa Clara mount any last-minute comeback and went on to win 57-49.

The biggest story coming out of Santa Clara was freshman Lucija Kostic’s performance. The international superstar recorded her first 20-point game with 22 points, also netting her first career double-double with 12 rebounds. On Feb. 4, she was named WCC Player of the Week.

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