FORT WORTH (WSU Athletics) – No. 9 Wichita State went toe-to-toe with No. 1 USF in the American Athletic Conference quarterfinals Tuesday afternoon, but came up just short in the final minutes, falling 48-44.

Wichita State finishes the season at 6-12 in a season full of challenges and circumstances never seen before in college athletics. Wichita State never got to display its full potential until this week, and it showed it could play with anyone in the league.

Trajata Colbert scored a team-high 13 points and Mariah McCully added nine of her 11 points before halftime. Seraphine Bastin chipped in 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Asia Strong scored just four points, snapping her streak of double-figure games at 11, but she did grab a career-high tying 13 rebounds.

The Shockers held USF to just 25 percent shooting and 5-of-26 from three-point range. Offensively, Wichita State made just 1-of-11 attempts from downtown.

Sydni Harvey scored a game-high 14 points for USF. USF’s 48 points were the second fewest they had scored all season.

Wichita State couldn’t have asked for a better start. The Shockers led 8-4 at the midway point and then increased the margin to seven in the final minute after holding the Bulls scoreless for more than five minutes.

A Maria Alvarez three-pointer with 23 seconds left snapped the drought, but the Shockers answered with a bucket as the buzzer sounded from Shamaryah Duncan. After 10 minutes, Wichita State led 16-10 behind a stout defensive effort. USF was 4-for-19 from the field and 2-of-9 from long range.

USF’s cold shooting carried over to the second quarter where they missed seven of its first eight attempts and suffered another scoreless streak of three-plus minutes. For Wichita State, McCully scored five straight points to give the Shockers their largest lead, 23-12, with 4:19 left in the half.

Slowly, USF crept back in it, finishing the final 2:17 on a 7-2 run to make it 25-20 at the break.

Wichita State shot 38 percent from the field and 0-of-5 from distance, but thanks to a stellar defensive half, USF converted on only 7-of-35 attempts, including 4-of-15 from three-point range.

McCully’s nine points led all scorers, while Strong had nine big rebounds in the half.

A Strong jumper from the top of the key opened the second half, but USF would respond with a 7-0 run to tie the game at 27.

The remaining 5:36 would be played within a three-point span with USF leading by as many two and Wichita State by three. USF would take a 37-35 lead into the final period.

A three-point play from Colbert gave Wichita State the lead right back to begin the fourth quarter. The Bulls answered with back-to-back scores to regain the lead. USF led 43-42 at the 5:02 mark, and neither team would score again until 2:24 remaining.

USF snapped the cold spell with a jumper from Elisa Pinzan, and then some free throws in the final minute prevented the massive upset bid.