No. 20 South Florida women hold off Thomas, Cincinnati

NCAA Basketball

CINCINNATI (AP)Sydni Harvey scored 21 points, Bethy Mununga had 13 points and 14 rebounds and No. 20 South Florida pulled away late to beat Cincinnati 73-61 on Tuesday, spoiling another 30-plus-point performance by IImar’I Thomas.

Harvey’s fifth 3-pointer gave the Bulls a 55-53 lead and they would not trail again, despite 13 fourth-quarter points from Thomas. Cincinnati’s only other double-digit scorer, Arame Niang, fouled out with 3:50 left and USF scored seven of the next nine points for a 10-point lead.

Kristyna Brabencova added 10 points and six rebounds, and Elisa Pinzan had a career-high 11 assists for South Florida (5-1, 2-0 American Athletic Conference).

Thomas, who entered fourth in the nation at 27.4 points per game, scored 32 points with six rebounds, five assists and four steals for Cincinnati (1-5, 0-2). She scored 30-plus for third time this season, and moved into sole possession of eighth in program history, passing Jolinda Lewis (1,523).

USF moved up three spots in the AP Top 25 poll on Monday despite not playing since opening AAC play against Memphis on Dec. 13. The Bull’s scheduled game against Houston last Saturday was postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the Cougars program.

USF led by as many as 16 points in the first quarter, but Cincinnati opened the second quarter on a 14-2 run to get within 28-27. The Bulls led 33-29 at the break.

Niang, a 6-foot-3 forward, had 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting. The Bearcats were outrebounded 40-23.

More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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