Friday, February 26th, 2021

American Athletic Conference quarterfinals evening session: South Florida and Tulane roll into the semis

Published on March 7, 2015


Tulane women's basketball. Photo: Tulane Athletics.

Tulane women’s basketball. Photo: Tulane Athletics.

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Quarterfinal play in the American Athletic Conference tournament concluded this evening with two dominating performances. Second-seeded South Florida throttled No. 7 seed Memphis, 79-51, in the first game, and sixth-seeded Tulane upset No. 3 Tulsa.

Earlier, in the day games, fifth-seeded East Carolina upset fourth-seeded Temple 77-71 and No. 1 seed Connecticut blew by ninth-seeded Cincinnati .

South Florida 79, Memphis 51

Expect South Florida coach Jose Fernandez to do his best to anger junior forward Alishia Jenkins the rest of this weekend.

“I know she was a little disappointed and upset she didn’t make the First Team All-Conference,” Fernandez said, “and I think she came out and played a little angry and it showed.”

Jenkins racked up a double-double in the first half, finishing the game with 23 points and 14 rebounds in only 26 minutes of play, as the Bulls ran out to a 42-19 first half lead and never looked back. South Florida dominated inside against a foul-plagued Memphis team, outrebounding them 50 to 22; 18 of those rebounds were on the offensive end, and they scored 20 second chance points.

The Bulls were in control to the point that none of the Bulls starters played more than 26 minutes, and first team All-Conference guard Courtney Williams only scored four points in 20 minutes.

Ariel Hearn was the lone bright spot for the Tigers, scoring 17 points despite three first half fouls that limited her effectiveness. Amber Holmes scored ten points off the bench for Memphis.

When asked about the South Florida fast start, Jenkins commented, “We have energy, the coaches have energy and the game starts, everybody’s just energized, and that’s how we like our games.”

Tulane 71, Tulsa 53

In one of the quirks of tournament seedings, Tulsa, with a 17-13 overall record but 12-6 in conference was the No. 3 seed, playing 22-9 overall but only 11-7 in conference Tulane, a team ESPN’s Charlie Creme lists as on the bubble of making the NCAA tournament. The Green Wave helped the discussion for their selection with a dominant second half in beating Tulsa.

In the final quarterfinal game, Tulane rode some hot three-point shooting, especially by Leslie Vorpahl off the bench, to blow open a five-point halftime lead, beating Tulsa by 18, 71-53.

Vorpahl led four Tulane players in double figures with 17, freshman Kolby Morgan had 15, Jamie Kaplan 13, and Courtnie Latham 11. The Green Wave shot a blistering 58.8 percent from three-point range.

Tulsa guard Ashley Clark led all scorers with 23 points, and also had eight rebounds, but contributed seven of the team’s 27 total turnovers. The starters struggled for the Hurricane, hitting only 7-of-21 shots, for a total of 22 points.

South Florida and Tulane will meet in the second semi-final tomorrow evening, approximately 7 :30 pm ET, after Connecticut plays East Carolina.


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