TAMPA, Fla. — The 15th-ranked USF women’s basketball team (14-2) has two chances to clinch to the program’s first American Athletic Conference title beginning Tuesday night.
A win in one of their two final regular-season games against rival UCF, and the Bulls will win their first conference title in the program’s 49-year history.
“The kids understand the magnitude of these two games,” USF head coach Jose Fernandez said. “They know what’s at stake.”
USF was previously in the AAC with powerhouse teams such as UConn and Notre Dame. The Bulls finished second to UConn four times in the last seven years. The Huskies now play in the Big East.
“We haven’t been in the position to play for a regular-season title and clinch a number one seed,” Fernandez said.
A USF win would also clinch the number one seed for the conference tournament that starts Monday in Texas. But UCF and its top scoring defense in the nation can take that spot with a win Tuesday and Thursday against the Bulls.
“For us, we have to make good decisions on who we get the ball to, and you got to make shots against a 3-2 zone,” Fernandez said. “The thing is after they score or we get it off the glass, we have to score in transition. We can’t go up against that 3-2 zone every possession then the game is going to be in the 40s. We don’t want that.”
Tuesday’s game tips off at 5:30 p.m. at the Yuengling Center.