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USF women's basketball falls to Miami 78-66 in NCAA first round

two women basketball players, with a coach holding her arms to the side on the right
Sean Rayford/AP
FR171415 AP
South Florida guard Sydni Harvey (3) is defended by Miami guard Karla Erjavec (25) during the first half a first-round game in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Friday, March 18, 2022, in Columbia, S.C.

USF twice cut the deficit to nine in the second half, but they couldn’t get any closer.

Karla Erjavec scored 14 points to lead a balanced Miami offense to a 78-66 win over the University of South Florida in the first round of the women’s NCAA tournament.

The No. 8 seeded Hurricanes (21-12) shot 54% and all 10 players who played more than a minute scored to help Miami win its ninth game out of the last 11.

The Hurricanes scored 24 points in the first quarter and led by as much as 19 before halftime.

Ninth-seeded USF (24-9) kept hanging around, twice cutting the deficit to nine in the second half. But they couldn’t get any closer.

“It’s definitely not how you want it to end,’’ USF coach Jose Fernandez said. “We were very inconsistent and it showed.’’

Elena Tsineke led South Florida with 21 points and Elisa Pinzan added 19 points for the Bulls.

“We won two quarters and another quarter was two points (margin),’’ Fernandez said. “But they shot the ball extremely well. Uncharacteristic for us, we didn’t defend well. Give them credit. NCAA Tournament, they showed up more. We needed more guys to show up.’’

Miami moves on to play the winner of sixteenth seeded Howard and the tournament's overall number one seed, South Carolina.

WUSF's Mark Schreiner contributed to this report.