South Florida Women Squeak Past SMU 52-51

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DALLAS (AP) – Kitija Laksa scored nine of her 28 points in the fourth quarter and No. 23 South Florida overcame its second-worst shooting game of the season to beat SMU 52-51 on Wednesday night.

Maria Jespersen, the Bulls’ next highest scorer, had seven points and 13 rebounds.

Ariadna Pujol’s jumper with 1:52 to go snapped USF’s five minute, 55 second scoring drought and put the Bulls (16-3, 5-1 American Athletic Conference) in front for good, 50-49. After SMU missed a 3, Laksa and Alicia Froling traded a pair of free throws to cap the scoring with 40 seconds left. USF committed a turnover, but McKenzie Adams missed a potential winning 3-pointer with 3 seconds remaining.

The Mustangs (11-9, 2-5) trailed for just 24 seconds in the third quarter, but Laksa hit a 3 and then a layup to open the fourth to give USF a three-point lead. Dai’ja Thomas and Froling sandwiched jumpers around another bucket by Laksa to make it 48-47 with 6:34 left but the teams combined to miss 11 shots in a row before a layup by Stephanie Collins put SMU up by one.

Froling had 13 points and 10 rebounds — her fourth double-double in a row and 14th this season — for SMU.

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