Twenty-three games are officially in the books, and the USF women’s basketball team finished their latest chapter of the regular season with a resounding victory against a familiar foe with postseason hopes on the horizon.
The Dons were originally scheduled to play the University of San Diego Toreros Feb. 25, but the game was canceled prior to tip-off due to a positive COVID-19 test within the Toreros’ program.
Redemption was in order Feb. 27 as the Dons hosted the Brigham Young University Cougars in their final game of the regular season, a showdown at high noon. The two teams last faced off Dec. 28 with the Cougars routing the Dons by 24 points.
The Dons struck first in the Feb. 27 matchup with a pair of free throws from redshirt freshman Ioanna Krimili who went a perfect 12-12 from the line on the day. An offensive drought meant the Dons temporarily relinquished their lead and put the Cougars up by six points, but USF cooked up an 11-1 run to end the first quarter and reestablished a four-point lead.
As the contest progressed, the Dons refused to soften their grip on the game. In the second quarter, the USF went on another run, this time scoring 11 unanswered field goals, and extending their lead to 15 points. The Cougars sank a pair of baskets to bring the deficit within eleven points, but the Dons ended the half with a 39-28 cushion.
Out of the intermission, both sides traded baskets like heavyweights exchanging punches. The Cougars chipped away at the Dons lead, bringing the game within four points. However, the Dons shifted into a new gear with a 10-6 run that ultimately gave them an eight-point lead heading into the final ten minutes of play.
Redshirt sophomore Amalie Langer, senior Lucie Hoskova, and Krimili linked up to score 22 of the Dons’ 28 points in the fourth quarter. USF strung together another 10-6 run to put the game on ice, ultimately avenging their first encounter with an 86-72 win and pushing their winning streak to three games.
Four players ended the night in double-digits. Krimili led the team in scoring with 27 points, Langer and Hoskova scored 16 points each, and redshirt sophomore Marta Galic completed the quartet with 15 points. Redshirt sophomore Lucija Kostic contributed in all facets of the game with six rebounds, six points, five assists, and three steals.
The Dons ended their regular season with a 14-9 (10-7 WCC) overall win-loss record and clinched the number three seed in the West Coast Conference (WCC) women’s basketball tournament, earning two byes in the process. The team will begin tournament play March 6 in the quarter-finals.