A Season to Be Proud of—USF Basketball
Photo credit: Jared Haagen
The Cougars lost to the Oregon Tech Owls in a quarterfinal game Saturday, March 10, but closed the season 23-13, winning five of their last seven games. Commenting on the loss to the Owls, senior guard Q Owens said, "At the top of the game, they took the life out of us with that eight point run." The Cougars had a season to be proud of, nonetheless. As USF Head Coach Chad LaCross told the team after Saturday’s game, "If somebody would have told me before the season that we will be the last team out from the conference and Indiana playing in the Elite Eight, I’d have been elated. I am proud of the way you all kept workin’, played together as a team and represented your university with grit and determination. It’s especially tough for the seniors, and I thank you for all that you have done for the USF basketball program."
In individual player news, senior Q Owens was named to the NAIA Championship All-Tournament team for a third consecutive season — a USF record. In the 2012 Championship, he averaged 15.7 points in three games and led USF to the Elite 8, with wins over Jamestown College and Bellevue.
In the final regular-season NAIA Coaches’ Top 25, USF tied for No. 30. But the ranking did not allow the Lady Cougars to have a shot at the NAIA Division II National Championship. USF Head Coach Gary Andrews said, "It’s tough, disappointing because I felt our resume over the course of the season and the strength of our conference was among the best in the country." He added, "No question losing Kayla Drake made the difference, though to the credit of the players healthy enough to play, they never gave up."
The Lady Cougars’ Feb. 24 loss by three points to Indiana Wesleyan University was the final game for seniors Kayla Mullins, Amanda Pedro and Myqueisha Bratton. On the USF career scoring list, Mullins finished ninth with 1,329 points. In Mid-Central College Conference (MCC) scoring in 2011-12, she finished No. 3 with a 15.7 average. USF finished in the MCC tied for fourth, with a 10-8 record. Overall, in their eleventh season under Coach Andrews’ guidance, the Lady Cougars finished 19-13.