Mizzou Women’s Basketball is heading back to the NCAAs! Robin Pingeton’s Tigers drew a 6-seed in the Stockton (Cal.) region and will play 11-seed USF in Tallahassee. Winner gets the winner of the 3-14 game between Florida State and Western Illinois.
The Missouri Women's basketball team celebrates receiving a 6-seed in the NCAA tournament. Mizzou will face 11-seed South Florida on Friday pic.twitter.com/UsezltCbT9— Tramel Raggs (@Raggs_No_Riches) March 13, 2017
The complete Stockton regional. (6) Mizzou plays (11) South Florida at 4 p.m. CT, Friday on ESPN2 in Tallahassee, Fla.: pic.twitter.com/XpmhxWBMpa— Tod Palmer (@todpalmer) March 14, 2017
SEC Coach of the year Robin Pingeton addresses the media following NCAA Selection Show (1/2) pic.twitter.com/BKnvMK5Gij— Tramel Raggs (@Raggs_No_Riches) March 14, 2017
SEC Coach of the year Robin Pingeton addresses the media following NCAA Selection Show (2/2) pic.twitter.com/K6AylYrbID— Tramel Raggs (@Raggs_No_Riches) March 14, 2017
Here are 5 things you immediately need to know about USF women’s hoops:
- Jose Fernandez’s Bulls are 24-8 overall, 24-5 in the “games not against UConn” category. They got absolutely waxed by the Huskies three times but otherwise played a relatively light schedule (hence the 11-seed). They played only two other ranked teams — they lost 66-52 to Louisville in January and 77-71 to Temple in mid-February.
- The Bulls made a solid run in the AAC Tournament. As the No. 3 seed, they took down No. 6 SMU (62-55) and No. 2 (and formerly ranked) Temple (63-58) ... which earned them the luxury of getting absolutely waxed by UConn in the finals. But there’s no judging when you get absolutely waxed by UConn.
- Fernandez has been running the show in Tampa for a while. The FIU grad used to be a P.E. teacher and ended up an assistant at Barry University in Miami Shores before landing the USF gig in 2000. He went 25-57 his first three years, then picked up steam. From 2004-10, the Bulls went to six WNITs (winning it in 2009) and lost in the first round of the NCAAs in 2006. After a brief stumble, though, he's gotten them into the NCAAs four times in five years. They earned a No. 6 seed last year and lost in the second round to No. 3 UCLA.
- USF basically has a seven-player rotation and have started nearly the same five players all year: 5'7 junior point guard Laia Flores, 6'1 senior guard Ariadna Pujol, 6'0 sophomore forward Kitija Laksa, 6'0 junior forward Maria Jespersen, and 6'1 freshman forward Tamara Henshaw.
- Laksa's the scorer: She's averaging 19.2 points per game and is hitting 39 percent of her eight 3-point attempts per game. USF takes 20 3s per game as a team and otherwise relies on rebounding (+8.4 per game) and getting to the free throw line (505 free throw attempts to 353) to win games.
The more you know...
- Two walk-off hits in one week? That’ll get you SEC player of the week honors. At least, it worked for Robbie Glendinning. I can’t guarantee it would work for you. Mizzou, by the way, will be looking to extend its baseball win streak to 16 games tonight against Chicago State at 6:30 at Taylor Stadium. In theory, the Tigers could then extend it to 17 games tomorrow evening, also at 6:30. The clutch thing has worked pretty well for the Fightin’ Biesers, but luckily they haven’t had to play the clutch card too often.
- There was no third softball game between Mizzou and Florida yesterday. Weather.
- “And that, kids, is why Arkansas will never beat Missouri again as long as I am in attendance.”