TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Laila Blair hit six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 30 points to help Houston edge No. 24 South Florida 71-69 on Sunday, ending a number of winning streaks for the Bulls.
South Florida, which had won 12 straight, was 12-0 at home and was trying to go 12-0 in American Athletic Conference play for the first time.
Houston, which never trailed after a Blair 3-pointer made it 7-5 and led by 13 in the third quarter, never flinched when Sammie Puisis hit a 3-pointer for South Florida to tie the game 58 with 7:35 to play. The Cougars never led by more than four the rest of the way.
It was 40-31 at the half as Blair pulled up for a buzzer-beating 3 a couple steps inside half court.
Bria Patterson made 1 of 2 free throws with 12.2 seconds left to put Houston on top 70-66. Elena Tsineke converted a three-point play with 4.9 to go but after Patterson again made 1 of 2 foul shots at four seconds, USF had no timeouts left to get off a good shot.
Britney Onyeji scored 14 points for Houston (10-13, 7-3), which has won four straight. Tiara Young had 13 points and Patterson 11.
The Cougars only shot 41% and were out-rebounded 41-24, but they made 11 of 24 from 3-point range and forced 19 USF turnovers.
Tsineke scored 24 points and Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu added 19 with 19 rebounds for the Bulls (22-5, 11-1). It was the 52nd double-double for Fankam Mendjiadeu, half coming from her years at Memphis and the rest at USF.
South Florida plays at Central Florida on Wednesday. Houston, which only lost one game by more than seven points, is home against Memphis.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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