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  1. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2myhRhv FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: March 16, 2017 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook NCAA Match-up: Bulls Face Mizzou TAMPA, MARCH 16, 2017 – The University of South Florida women’s basketball team is dancing for the third-consecutive season. The Bulls, who will play just a few hours north of Tampa in Tallahassee, earned a No. 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will face No. 6-seed Missouri on Friday at 5:15 p.m. USF (24-8) is making its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in school history, and its fourth in five years under head coach Jose Ferndandez. Since his arrival in 2000, Fernandez has led the Bulls to 13 postseasons and a 3-4 record in the NCAA Tournament. Fan Info Fans can purchase tickets for $15.00 and the ticket is valid for both games played on Friday. All tickets will be available for pick up on game day at the USF team will call. To purchase a ticket, click here, or call 1-800-Go-Bulls. A Fan Bus is available to transport from Tampa to Tallahassee. The Bus ticket is $40 and does not included a game ticket. The bus will have a restroom, free Wi-Fi, and outlets to charge your devices. To purchase a fan bus ticket, click here. Donald L. Tucker Civic Center has a clear bag policy for the basketball arena. The Opponent Missouri (21-10, 11-5 SEC) clinched back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths and its No. 6 seed is the highest in program history. The Tigers have won 10 of their last 13 games and have notable victories over South Carolina, Texas A&M and Kentucky in SEC action. Sophomore Sophie Cunningham leads the Tigers with 17.7 points per game and classmate Cierra Porter grabs a team best 8.0 rebounds per game and adds 13.3 points per game. Missouri lost in their first SEC Tournmanet game, 62-48, to Texas A&M but finished third in the SEC regular season with an 11-5 league record. Notables Sophomore Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) is quickly approaching 1,000 points and could become just the second player in program history to reach the feat as a sophomore. Laksa sits at 971 career points entering the NCAA Tournament. The sharp-shooter’s single season total lies at 615, which is the new sophomore season record. According to the NCAA, Laksa is one of the top-10 scorers in the NCAA Tournament. Laksa averages 19.2 points per game and is four sophomores on the list. Kristine Anigwe (Cal), Katie Lou Samuelson (UConn) and Napheesa Collier (UConn) all rank in the top-10. At The American tournament, junior point guardLaia Flores (Mataro, Spain) set the single season assist total with 192 assists this season. With eight more assists, she would become the first player in program history to record 200 assists in a season. Her 384 career assists is already fifth in program history. Last season, Courtney Williams (’16), scored 31 points in the Bulls 48-45 first round victory, accounting for 65 percent of her teams points, setting a new NCAA Tournament record. The Bulls are making their fourth tournament appearance in the last five seasons and the program’s fifth overall trip. This is the third consecutive year USF will make an NCAA appearance. USF will play in the 6/11 match-up for the third consecutive year, and are 2-0 in both first round appearances. The Bulls were seeded sixth the last two seasons and defeated 11-seed Colorado State 48-45 in 2016 and LSU 73-64 in 2015. USF has been as high as a six-seed and as low as an 11-seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Bulls were a nine-seed in their first ever NCAA appearance in 2006 and a 10-seed in 2013. Head coach Jose Fernandez reached 300 career wins Jan. 17. Only three active coaches in the American Athletic Conference have achieved the feat. USF is the only team in NCAA Division I with nine international players on its roster.
  2. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: March 12, 2017 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Join USF Women’s Basketball on Selection Monday TAMPA, MARCH 12, 2017 – The University of South Florida women’s basketball team invites its fans to join the Bulls Monday, March 13 at 6:30 p.m. for a viewing of the NCAA Tournament Selection Show inside the Sun Dome Arena Club. Fans can mingle with the student-athletes and coaching staff before settling in to see who the Bulls will face for the first and second rounds. Coach Fernandez will address the crowd after USF is selected and talk about potential match-ups in the tournament. Light refreshments will be available and Arena Club concessions will be open with more options. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and fans and media can enter through Gate C with no admission cost. The Bulls are fresh off its third consecutive American Athletic Conference Championship final. USF will make its third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and play in its fourth tournament in five seasons. ESPN will present the exclusive live announcement of the 64-team NCAA Tournament field as part of its Selection Monday Special Show on Monday, March 13, from 7 to 8 p.m. ESPNU will offer further bracket analysis following from 8 to 9 p.m. ET.
  3. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2lTTBdn FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: March 13, 2017 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Bulls’ March into April Begins in Tallahassee TAMPA, MARCH 13, 2017 – The University of South Florida’s return trip to the NCAA Tournament will start close to home. The Bulls will travel upstate to Tallahassee for the first round as the 11-seed and will face sixth-seeded Missouri Friday at 5 p.m. Head coach Jose Fernandez’s Bulls will face Missouri for the first time in program history at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The game will tip at 5 p.m. and will be televised nationally on the ESPN family of networks. Third-seed and host Florida State will take on No. 14 Western Illinois at 7:30 p.m. in the other Tallahassee game that is part of the Stockton, Calif. region. The Bulls watched their post season journey unfold on the NCAA Selection Show at the Sun Dome Arena Club with hundreds of fans and supporters. President Dr. Judy Genshaft and Athletic Director Mark Harlan cheered alongside the team when USF’s name appeared during the ESPN broadcast. Tickets for Friday’s game will be available when the NCAA and host institution Florida State release ticket details, including price, purchasing locations and procedures. On Tuesday, March 14, USF season ticket members and Bulls Club donors will receive an email with detailed information about how to request tickets. The Tournament Florida State will host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament at Donald L. Tucker Center (Capacity: 12,100). Host and three-seed Florida State (25-6) will face Western Illinois (26-6). Florida State lost in the first round of the ACC Tournament, 56-54, to No. 8/12 Miami. Western Illinois earned one of 32 automatic bids as the Summit League Tournament Champions. Western Illinois defeated IUPUI 77-69. Missouri (21-10) is the six-seed and lost in their first game of the SEC Tournament to Texas A&M, 62-48. American Athletic Conference foe, UConn, is again the overall No. 1 seed of the tournament and the Bridgeport Region. Notre Dame is the No. 1 seed of the Oklahoma City Region and Baylor is the No. 1 seed in the Lexington Region. South Carolina is the No. 1 seed in Stockton Region. The first round of the NCAA Tournament will be played on March 17 & 18. The second round will be played March 19 & 20. The Regionals will be played March 24-27. The Final Four will take place March 31-April 2 in Dallas, Texas. Quotable Head coach Jose Fernandez on the Bulls NCAA Tournament run: We’re really excited. It’s an opportunity for our fans to make the trip to Tallahassee and see us play. We’re playing a very good Missouri team. It’s our fifth NCAA Tournament berth and we’re looking forward to the challenge. We’re excited that we’re still playing basketball at this time of year. Junior captain Maria Jespersen on the Bulls’ staying in Florida: Our dream when we were working out this summer and in preseason was to get back to the NCAA Tournament. We’re really excited to stay in Florida and to get started. We have a great fan base and I’m sure they’ll be there to support us. Notables The Bulls are making their fourth tournament appearance in the last five seasons and the program’s fifth overall trip. This is the third consecutive year USF will make an NCAA appearance. USF will play in the 6/11 match-up for the third consecutive year, and are 2-0 in both first round appearances. The Bulls were seeded sixth the last two seasons and defeated 11-seed Colorado State 48-45 in 2016 and LSU 73-64 in 2015. USF has been as high as a six-seed and as low as an 11-seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Bulls were a nine-seed in their first ever NCAA appearance in 2006 and a 10-seed in 2013. USF has been ranked as high as No. 19 nationally during the program’s fifth consecutive 20-win season. USF (24-8) is coming off its third consecutive appearance in the American Athletic Conference Championship game. Only two teams have beaten USF by more than six points (No. 1 UConn, No. 8 Louisville).
  4. Up by 3 at the half. Went from a poor 1st quarter being down by around 6 to up by 6, then letting them back in. Hitting free throws would really really help. Still nice effort to recover from the early deficit.
  5. I know the final didn't go so well but the semi was a great game that got us there for the third year in a row. I recorded it for everyone to enjoy and to show the ladies team some love.
  6. Considering that USF was #33 in last weeks AP poll, I thought it pretty iffy that they would rank us this week. We are just on the outside at #26 with 51 points.2017 Women's College Basketball Rankings and Polls for Week 4 - ESPNWe were previously 29th in the coaches poll. So, we have a better chance of being ranked by them, when their new poll is released.
  7. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2m9Amtl FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: March 5, 2017 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Bulls Book 3rd Straight Trip to League Title Game By TOM ZEBOLD USF Senior Writer UNCASVILLE, Conn., MARCH 5, 2017 – USF is headed to the American Athletic Conference Championship final for the third straight season after knocking off No. 21 Temple, 63-58, Sunday night at Mohegan Sun Arena. In a rematch of last season’s conference semifinal, third-seeded USF (24-7) earned its best win of the season by getting tough on the glass. Head coach Jose Fernandez’s Bulls ruled the boards by 42-36 margin with 15 offensive rebounds against the second-seeded Owls (24-7). First team all-conference guard Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) helped the Bulls book a third straight meeting with UConn in the championship with a game-high 18 points. The solid performance helped Laksa break USF’s sophomore season scoring record with 602 total points. Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) posted her 11thdouble-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Conference freshman of the year Tamara Henshaw (Palm Coast, Fla.) matched her career high with 15 points. Laia Flores (Mataro, Spain) added eight points, four rebounds and three assists. Flores is now just three assists shy of breaking USF’s season assists record of 190 set by Anedra Gilmore in 2004-05. USF headed into halftime with a 33-30 advantage after Laksa made program history and Henshaw proved why she was named conference freshman of the year. Laksa became the leading sophomore scorer in USF history with a 3-pointer to open the game. Laksa passed Courtney Williams’ previous top mark of 586 points during the 2013-14 season. Laksa helped fuel a 6-0 run to end the first quarter that cut the Temple lead to 17-14. Henshaw put USF ahead twice during a sequence in the second quarter that saw the lead change hands four times before the Bulls took over. Jespersen made a go-ahead jumper with 6:27 left in the half and went on her own 7-0 run to pump the Bulls’ lead up to 29-23. Henshaw scored four points down the stretch and finished the second quarter with 11 points. The scoring surge helped the freshman match her previous career high of 15 points by the break. Jespersen added to her 24th double-digit scoring game of the season with a 3-pointer in the third quarter and a Laksa jumper extended the lead to 42-35. Despite the hot start, USF went on a scoring drought of 5:33 but still headed into the fourth quarter with a 42-39 lead. USF’s defense held Temple to nine points in the third quarter and kept locking down the Owls on the way to the championship. Temple went through a five-minute scoring drought in the final period and went 7-for-18 from the field. Senior Nancy Warioba (Kisumu, Kenya) gave the Bulls a needed spark instantly with two points and three rebounds in her first two minutes of the game early in the fourth quarter. After Warioba’s defensive rebound, Flores knocked down a 3-pointer and five straight points from Laksa extended the lead to 52-41 with 4:24 remaining. USF secured the victory by going 9-for-14 from the free throw line in the final period. Quotables Head coach Jose Fernandez’s thoughts on the Bulls making it back to the conference championship: “I couldn’t be prouder of this group. We played five kids in that first half the entire time. In that third quarter, we were up seven with the ball and we went on a drought there. But in that fourth quarter, we made big shots and we got the stops we needed. It was an important game for both teams, for NCAA seeding, us winning up there and them winning at our place. We wanted this game. This is the third year in a row that we’re playing on Monday night. That’s one thing, when you play in this tournament, you want to play for a championship.” Key Stats 42 – The number of rebounds grabbed by the Bulls, including 15 on the offensive end. USF scored 13 second-chance points. 35.5 – The shooting percentage USF’s defense held Temple to in the second half. The Bulls had a 33-30 advantage at halftime and never let the lead slip away after the break. Notables - USF appeared in the conference semifinals for the fourth consecutive season and will play in the championship game for the third straight year. - Kitija Laksa has set USF’s sophomore season scoring record with 602 points. Courtney Williams held the Bulls’ previous record with 586 points. - Conference freshman of the year Tamara Henshawreached her previous career high of 15 points by halftime. - USF improved to 7-3 in the American Athletic Conference Championship. - USF is now within three wins of matching the program season record of 27 victories set in 2014-15. - The Bulls improved to 2-1 this season against second-seeded Temple. Up Next USF will take on top-ranked UConn in The American championship game Monday at 7 p.m. The programs’ third meeting of the season will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
  8. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2lK4XMh FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: March 4, 2017 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook BULLS RALLY PAST SMU TO REACH CONFERENCE SEMIS By TOM ZEBOLD USF Senior Writer UNCASVILLE, Conn., MARCH 4, 2017 – USF erased a five-point deficit in the final seven minutes and rallied past SMU, 62-55, Saturday night in the American Athletic Conference quarterfinals at Mohegan Sun Arena. No. 3 seed USF (23-7) has reached The American semifinals for the fourth consecutive season and will face second-seeded Temple 7:30 p.m. Sunday (TV: ESPNU). Come March, the mantra is “survive and advance,” and the Bulls got the job done with a late 8-0 run against sixth-seeded SMU (17-14). Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) led the Bulls with 17 points and her third 3-pointer tied the game up at 53-53 with 2:54 remaining. Conference freshman of the year Tamara Henshaw (Palm Coast, Fla.) scored all eight of her points in the second half and put USF ahead 50 seconds after Laksa’s clutch bucket. Laia Flores (Mataro, Spain) knocked down another huge 3-pointer with 1:18 left to cap off the 8-0 run. The junior point guard scored 10 of her 15 points in the second half to go along with eight rebounds and six assists. Flores put the game out of reach with a pair of free throws after Ariadna Pujol (Mataro, Spain) blocked SMU’s chances of a game-tying 3-pointer with 16 seconds remaining. Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) also helped fuel another memorable USF comeback with 14 points and a pair of important 3-pointers in the second half. The first team all-conference forward added six rebounds and one of two USF blocks. Before having to rally, USF scored 16 points in the paint and headed into halftime ahead, 24-23, despite going 1-for-10 from long range. One of those tough baskets was made in crunch time, when Pujol gave USF an 11-9 lead with a buzzer-beating layup to end the first quarter. Laksa’s lone 3-pointer of the first half gave the Bulls a 20-15 advantage in the second quarter, but SMU made five straight field goals to keep things close heading into the break. USF headed into the fourth quarter trailing, 44-39, after SMU made five of its final seven shots of the third quarter. Jespersen’s 3-pointer spotted USF a 35-32 lead, but the Bulls closed the third quarter on a two-minute scoring drought. Points weren’t a problem for the Bulls in the fourth quarter. USF headed to the conference semifinals with some momentum after outscoring SMU, 23-11, in the final period. Key Stats 23-11 – The scoring margin in the fourth quarter in favor of USF, which rallied past SMU for the second time this season. 4-for-5 – USF shot 80 percent from long range in the fourth quarter to flip the script that started with a six-point deficit in the period. Notables - USF has advanced to the conference semifinals for the fourth consecutive season. The Bulls are looking to book a trip to the league championship game for the third straight year. - USF improved to 6-3 at the American Athletic Conference Championship. - USF is now within four wins of matching the program’s season wins record of 27 set back in 2014-15. - The Bulls improved to 2-0 against SMU this season after defeating the Mustangs, 52-51, in Dallas on Jan. 25. Up Next USF will face second-seeded Temple for the third time this season in Sunday’s second semifinal at 7:30 p.m.(TV: ESPNU). Head coach Jose Fernandez’s Bulls are 1-1 against Temple this season and defeated the Owls, 64-46, last March to advance to the conference championship game.
  9. TAMPA, MARCH 2, 2017 – The University of South Florida women’s basketball team continues to raise the bar, and the program did it again on Thursday when The American announced All-Conference teams and awards. Four Bulls were recognized and for the first time in program history, two landed on the All-Conference First Team. As predicted by the coaches in the preseason, sophomore Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) was a unanimous All-Conference First Team selection, while junior Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) earned her first postseason conference award as a first-team honoree. Jespersen turned in a stellar junior campaign, becoming an unstoppable force in league play, and recognized as The American’s Most Improved Player of the Year. In her first season with the Bulls, rookie Tamara Henshaw (Palm Coast, Fla.) landed on the All-Freshman team by a unanimous decision. Rest of article
  10. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2lUaVy0 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: February 26, 2017 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook USF Closes Regular Season Monday TAMPA, FEB. 26, 2017 – The University of South Florida women’s basketball team plays in its last game of the regular season on Monday, when it hosts No. 1 UConn on ‘Senior Night’ in the Sun Dome Arena at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats for the start of the pregame ceremony at 6:30 when the Bulls celebrate the careers of Paige Cashin, Ariadna Pujol, Nancy Warioba, Katelyn Weber and senior manager Jon Huang. The regular season finale will air as part of ESPN2’s Big Monday coverage, with Beth Mowins (play-by-play) and Kara Lawson (analyst) on the call. The USF IMG Sports Network radio broadcast can be heard on AM 1040, featuring Mike Lefko and Brigid Merenda. USF (22-6, 11-4 The American) is fresh off its 22nd win which marks just the second time in program history the Bulls have reached 22 wins during the regular season. Sophomore Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) led the Bulls with 34 points and produced USF’s third-ever perfect performance from 3-point range (minimum of five attempts) and became the first Bull to go 6-for-6. Her hot-shooting afternoon helped USF finish 61 percent from the floor and 57 percent from long range. Promotions USF looks to shatter an unofficial world record for most t-shirts tossed at basketball game. The Bulls aim to throw approximately 1,500 t-shirts between the first and second quarter. The first 500 students to the arena will receive a free neon snapback hat. The Opponent USF and UConn will meet for the second time this season and the 22nd time in program history. The Bulls look for their first win against the Huskies in the team’s 45 seasons. USF has faced UConn 15 times as a No. 1 seed. Notables Laksa needs 34 more points to tie Courtney Williams’ sophomore record of 586 points in a season. The Bulls have totaled at least 22 regular season wins for just the second time in program history. USF won 24 games during the 2014-15 regular season and finished with a program record of 27. The Bulls close out the conference slate with a grueling 4 games across nine days. As the third seed, USF is scheduled to play the 6/11 seed winner in the conference championship quarterfinals on Saturday, March 4 at 8 p.m.(ESPN3). The tournament will once again take place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The Bulls have totaled 13 wins by 16 or more points, including six against conference opponents. Head coach Jose Fernandez reached 300 career wins Jan. 17. Only three active coaches in the American Athletic Conference have achieved the feat. USF is the only team in NCAA Division I with nine international players on its roster.
  11. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2lH6OVy FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: February 25, 2017 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook USF Overpowers Tulsa in Road Finale TULSA, Okla., FEB. 25, 2017 – Led by red-hot Kitija Laksa, USF locked up the third seed for the American Athletic Conference Championship with a 90-64 win at Tulsa on Saturday afternoon. Laksa reached new career milestones by going 6-for-6 from long range and shooting 92 percent overall (13-for-14) during her 34-point performance in the Bulls' regular season road finale. The star sophomore from Riga, Latvia scored 27 points in the second half and posted her eighth career 30-point game despite playing just 26 minutes. Laksa produced USF’s third-ever perfect performance from 3-point range (minimum of five attempts) and became the first Bull to go 6-for-6. Her hot-shooting afternoon helped USF finish 61 percent from the floor and 57 percent from long range. USF (22-6, 11-4) became just the second team in program history to register at least 22 regular season wins. Head coach Jose Fernandez's Bulls accomplished the feat with a complete team performance against Tulsa (8-20, 4-11). Three-time conference freshman of the week Tamara Henshaw (Palm Coast, Fla.) added to her stellar debut season as a Bull with a career-high 15 points and nine rebounds. Junior Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) went 7-for-15 from the field and finished with 19 points and six rebounds. Junior point guard Laia Flores (Mataro, Spain) nearly reached a triple-double once again, matching her career best with nine rebounds, along with nine points and seven assists. USF dominated the boards by a 37-23 margin. Before it turned into a rout, USF jumped out to a 36-26 halftime lead by shooting 56 percent from the field. Jespersen led the way with 11 points, while Flores was a force on both ends of the floor with five points and eight rebounds. Flores’ aggressiveness on the glass helped the Bulls outrebound Tulsa, 21-11, in the opening half. USF’s defense allowed only six points in the second quarter and off-balance Tulsa shot 35 percent before the break. The Golden Hurricane heated up early, shooting 58 percent in the opening period. Laksa battled foul trouble early, starting with seven points in the first half and before exploding for 13 points in the third quarter to help boost the lead up to 61-46. Laksa’s 34-point outing moved up the forward up to seventh on USF’s single-season scoring chart with 552 total points. Quotables Head coach Jose Fernandez on Kitija Laksa’s 27-point outburst in the second half: “She only played 26 minutes because she picked up those two fouls in the first two and a half minutes of the game. That’s unlike her, and then she’s got three in the first half and we had to sit her. We’re a different team without her on the floor.” Head coach Jose Fernandez on reaching 22 regular season wins for the second time in program history: “This is a big win for us because this is win No. 22 for us on the year and you get that bye in the first round of the tournament.” Head coach Jose Fernandez on the Bulls’ preparation for Monday’s home game against No. 1 UConn: “Our kids understand how we’ve played against Connecticut. I’m sure they’ll be looking forward to playing that game again.” Notables - As the third seed, USF is scheduled to play the 6/11seed winner in the conference championship quarterfinals on Saturday, March 4 at 8 p.m. (ESPN3). The tournament will once again take place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. - The Bulls have totaled at least 22 regular season wins for just the second time in program history. USF won 24 games during the 2014-15 regular season and finished with a program record of 27. - USF improved to 4-0 in its all-time series with Tulsa after defeating the Golden Hurricane, 84-68, in the programs’ first meeting of the season in Tampa on Jan. 7. - Laksa joined Shantia Grace and Jenny Koeppel as the only players in program history to go at least 5-for-5 from 3-point range in a game. - Laksa posted her seventh 30-point game of the season and eighth of her career, good for second-most in USF history. Wanda Guyton holds the record with nine 30-point performances. - Laksa needs 34 more points to tie Courtney Williams’ sophomore record of 586 points in a season. Up Next USF will host top-ranked UConn in the regular season finale that’s set for 7 p.m. Monday at the Sun Dome. The conference showdown will be a part of ESPN2’s Big Monday coverage. Prior to the game, USF will honor four senior members of the team in a special ceremony set to begin at approximately 6:35 p.m. Reserve your seats at USFBullsTix.com.
  12. http://www.gculopes.com/roster.aspx?path=wbball We could have used her this year.
  13. USF 54 Tulsa 41 2:14 3rd
  14. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2mgmjoC FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: February 24, 2017 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook USF Faces Tulsa in Last Regular Season Road Game TAMPA, FEB. 24, 2017 – The University of South Florida women’s basketball team will play in its final regular season road game Saturday when it takes on Tulsa for the second time this season. The Bulls can clinch at least a No. 3 seed in the American Athletic Conference Tournament with a win at Reynolds Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET. The USF IMG Sports Network radio broadcast can be heard on AM 820, featuring Mike Lefko. Hurricane Vision will also stream the contest. USF (21-6, 10-4 The American) is coming off a strong bounce back road win at Houston Tuesday. The Bulls downed the Cougars 79-50, notching their 10thconference win of the season. USF shot 46 percent, its best performance in the past four games, and scored 40 points in the paint, which is the second most points scored in the paint in league action. Senior Ariadna Pujol (Mataro, Spain) led the way with a team-high 24 points and 14 rebounds while Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) notched her 12th 20-point performance with 24 points. Laia Flores (Mataro, Spain) came close to what could have been the program’s second triple-double in the Bulls’ 45-year history. Flores turned in 10 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Laksa paces the team with 19.2 points per game and 82 three-pointers, which ranks in the top-20 nationally. Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) averages 15.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game while Flores’ 6.1 assists per game also ranks in the top 20. Flores continues to rank among the nation’s best point guards with a 2.96 assist-turnover ratio. The Opponent USF and Tulsa will face each other for the second time this season and for just the fourth time in program history. The 2016-17 season marks the first time the pair will play a home-and-home. The Bulls are a perfect 3-0 against the Golden Hurricane. After almost a week off, Tulsa (8-19, 4-10 The American) returns to Oklahoma after a 62-41 setback at SMU Saturday. The Golden Hurricane were held without a single player in double-figure scoring. Tulsa looks to reverse a five-game losing streak. Notables Tamara Henshaw (Palm Coast, Fla.), a three-time American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Week, has tallied 10 rebounds four times in the last five games. Henshaw is second in the league with a conference field goal percentage of .636. Flores’ nine assists at Houston pulled within nine assists of the no. two spot in the USF single season record books with 166 assists this season. Anedra Gilmore holds the record with 190 assists and is tied with Shantia Grace for second with 175 assists in a single season. USF’s 43.3 rebounds per game leads the league and ranks 15th nationally. The Bulls’ +9.9-rebounding margin also leads The American. The Bulls average 72.0 points per game and a +12.7-scoring margin which both rank second in the league. The Bulls close out the conference slate with a grueling 4 games across nine days. The Bulls have totaled 12 wins by 16 or more points, including five against conference opponents. Head coach Jose Fernandez reached 300 career wins Jan. 17. Only three active coaches in the American Athletic Conference have achieved the feat. USF is the only team in NCAA Division I with nine international players on its roster.
  15. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2kKare9 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: February 21, 2017 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Pujol's Career Night Powers Bulls Past Houston HOUSTON, TEXAS, FEB. 21, 2017 – Ariadna Pujol scored 24 points and the University of South Florida used a 24-point third quarter to pull away from Houston 79-50 Friday night at Hofheinz Pavilion. Pujol (Mataro, Spain) was two points shy of her career high 26 points but set a new career high with 14 rebounds. It is the senior’s third career double-double and the second-consecutive game with at least 10 rebounds. Pujol shot 53 percent from the floor (10-of-19) and added one assist and one steal in 37 minutes. Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) added 24 points and Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) chipped in 12 points and six rebounds. Laia Flores (Mataro, Spain) flirted with what could have been the program’s second triple-double in the Bulls’ 45-year history. Flores turned in 10 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Tamara Henshaw (Palm Coast, Fla.) notched 10 rebounds for the Bulls (21-6, 10-4), who outrebounded Houston 51-34 snapping a two-game losing streak. Serithia Hawksins scored 16 points to go with 10 rebounds to lead the Cougars (10-17, 3-11). Key Stat 51 – The Bulls tallied 51 rebounds and outrebounded their opponent for the 22nd time this season. 40 – USF scored 40 points in the paint to Houston’s 19. Notables Henshaw has tallied 10 rebounds in four of her past five outings. USF will close out its season with four games in nine days. Up Next USF will travel to Tulsa Saturday for its last road game of the year. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.
  16. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2kNLQjY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: February 19, 2017 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Bulls’ Comeback Falls Short to No. 25 Temple TAMPA, FEB. 19, 2017 – A flurry of scoring in the fourth quarter was not enough for the No 22 University of South Florida women’s basketball team Sunday. The Bulls lost 77-71 to No. 25 Temple at Sun Dome Arena. The Bulls (20-6, 9-4 The American) took a three-point lead with less than three minutes to play in the fourth quarter, overcoming a 13-point deficit at halftime. USF outscored Temple 45-38 in the second half, powered by 18 points from Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark). Jespersen finished with a career-high 26 points and 11 rebounds. Tamara Henshaw (Palm Coast, Fla.) added her own double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds while Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) tallied 14 points, 12 in the second half. USF started slow, with just eight field goals in the first half, shooting 24 percent (8-for-33). Laksa rattled off six points at the start of the third quarter, and with the Bulls’ first three pointer of the game, by Jespersen, USF cut the deficit to seven points. The Bulls remained within single digits the rest of the game. Jespersen gave USF its first lead in the fourth quarter with 4:57 to play and then again with 2:46 left on the clock when the junior drew a foul for a traditional three-point play. The Bulls led 67-64, but the Owls ended the contest on a 13-4 run. Temple (21-5, 11-2 The American) secured a second place standing in the league, and had four players in double figures. Feyonda Fitzgerald finished with 23 points while Donnaizha Fountain added 22. Quotables Head coach Jose Fernandez on his team’s effort: “Up three and we don’t get a defensive stop. It was a long three from the left wing and we didn’t block out and that’s what it comes down to. We weren’t ourselves. The ball was not going in, and we didn’t do those other things. When the ball isn’t going you, you can always defend. And I don’t think we did that.” Key Stat 20 – Temple scored 20 points off of 12 USF turnovers. 4 – USF only connected on four of 17 three-point attempts and were held, for the first time this season, without a single three-pointer in the first half. Notables Jespersen tallied her ninth double-double this season, and matched her career-high 26 points for the fourth time. It was the seventh straight contest Jespersen turned in at least 13 points. Henshaw’s double-double was her fourth. It was also the third time in the last four games the freshman has grabbed 10 rebounds. The Bulls lost back-to-back conference games for the first time since playing in the Big East (2012-13). USF will close out its season with four games in nine days. Up Next USF will play its second game in three days for the second time in as many weeks Tuesday. The Bulls will travel to Houston for a 7 p.m. match-up at Hofheinz Pavilion.
  17. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2mfrWzF FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: February 20, 2017 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Bulls Travel to Houston for Midweek Match-up TAMPA, FEB. 20, 2017 – The University of South Florida women’s basketball team will play its second game in two days Tuesday in a midweek conference tilt at Houston. The Bulls are looking to reverse a two-game skid at 8 p.m. ET in Hofheinz Pavilion. The match-up will be broadcast on ESPN3, with Fran Harris (play-by-play) and Steffi Sorensen (analyst) on the call. The USF IMG Sports Network radio broadcast can be heard on AM 820, featuring Mike Lefko. USF (20-6, 9-4 The American) plays in its first road game since Feb. 8 and is 6-2 on the road this season. The Bulls suffered a 77-71 setback on Sunday, but was led by junior Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) with a career high 26 points and 11 rebounds. It was Jespersen’s ninth double-double this season and the fourth time she has matched her career high 26 points. The forward continues to lead the Bulls with 9.2 rebounds per game and is second on the team with 15.6 points. Sophomore Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) continues to pace the Bulls with 19.0 points per game and has a team leading 78 three-pointers. The sophomore has a season total of 494 points which ties Tammy Van Oppen (’94) as the 15th most points scored in a single season. Laksa’s 494 is the fourth most scored by a sophomore in a single season. Ariadna Pujol (Mataro, Spain) is contributing 12.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game and leads the team with 34 steals. Laia Flores (Mataro, Spain) guides the team with 157 assists in 26 games (6.0 per game). The junior’s 3.02 assist-turnover ratio ranks in the top-10 nationally. The Opponent USF and Houston will meet for the first time this season and the 18th time in program history. The Bulls hold a 11-6 series advantage and are 7-3 in Houston. USF has won the past four meetings. Houston (10-16, 3-10 The American) returns to action after six days of rest. The Cougars defeated Tulsa on the road last Wednesday (Feb. 15), 65-62. Jacqueline Blake led the Red and White with 22 points, well above her season average of 6.6 points per game. Freshman Jasmyne Harris leads the Cougars through 26 games with 11.2 points per game. Notables Henshaw, a three-time American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Week, has tallied 10 rebounds three times in the last four games. Flores’ four assists against Temple pushed her to fourth place in the USF single season record books with 157 assists this season. Andrea Gilmore holds the record with 190 assists and is tied with Shantia Grace for second with 175 assists in a single season. USF’s 43.0 rebounds per game leads the league and its +9.6-rebounding margin ranks second. The Bulls average 71.7 points per game and a +12.1-scoring margin which rank second in the league. The Bulls have not lost three consecutive games since December 2013 and have not dropped three consecutive conference games since February 2011. USF will play its second game in three days for the second time in as many weeks Tuesday. The Bulls close out the conference slate with a grueling 5 games across nine days. The Bulls have totaled 11 wins by 16 or more points, including four against conference opponents. Head coach Jose Fernandez reached 300 career wins Jan. 17. Only three active coaches in the American Athletic Conference have achieved the feat. The Bulls are currently ranked No. 22 in the AP Poll. USF is the only team in NCAA Division I with nine international players on its roster.
  18. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2kJoFXW FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: February 18, 2017 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Top-25 Showdown in Bulls’ Play4Kay Game TAMPA, FEB. 18, 2017 – The No. 22 University of South Florida women’s basketball team squares off against No. 25 Temple Sunday at Sun Dome Arena. In a crucial contest in American Athletic Conference standings, both teams could all but clinch the no. two seed in the American Athletic Conference Tournament. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m. The match-up will be broadcast on ESPN2, with Tiffany Greene (play-by-play) and Fran Harris (analyst) on the call. The USF IMG Sports Network radio broadcast can be heard on AM 1040, featuring Mike Lefko and Brigid Merenda. In its third game in seven days, USF (20-5, 9-3 The American) looks to rebound from a 66-62 setback to UCF on Tuesday. The Bulls were edged on the boards 39-36, marking only the fourth time this season the Bulls have been outrebounded. Led by Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark), the Bulls had four players in double-figures. The junior captain turned in 18 points and a team-best eight rebounds. Jespersen has shined in conference action, averaging 17.0 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Sophomore Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) continues to pace the Bulls with 19.2 points per game and has a team leading 76 three-pointers, which ranks 21st in NCAA Division I. Ariadna Pujol (Mataro, Spain) is contributing 12.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.Laia Flores (Mataro, Spain) guides the team with 153 assists in 25 games (6.1 per game). The junior’s 3.06 assist-turnover ratio ranks seventh nationally. Promotions Play4Kay Sunday is the Bulls annual Play4Kay Breast Cancer Awareness event. USF will debut brand new pink uniforms and will wear special shooting shirts in warm-ups. The Play4Kay shooting shirts will also be available for sale ($20) at Gate A. In an effort to raise money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, there will also be a silent auction at Gate A. Play4Kay is the grassroots fundraising initiative of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Numerous sports, groups and organizations have hosted Play4Kay fundraisers — and have made a lasting impact that resonated with their fans and the community, all while raising funds for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. For more information, click HERE. The Opponent USF and Temple will meet for the second time this season and the tenth time in program history. The Bulls hold a 8-1 series advantage and have never lost in Tampa (3-0). Earlier this season, USF held off a late comeback by the Owls in a 55-51 victory in Philadelphia on Jan. 29. The Bulls snapped Temple’s 12-game win streak and handed the Owls their first conference loss of the season. Freshman Tamara Henshaw (Palm Coast, Fla.) turned in a stellar performance in the paint, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. The forward shot 62 percent from the floor. Laksa led the Bulls with 16 points, while Jespersen just missed a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds. Temple (20-5, 10-2 The American) is riding a four-game win streak and coming off a 66-52 victory over SMU Wednesday. The Owls were picked second in The American preseason poll and are currently in sole possession of second place. Temple is led by Feyonda Fitzgerald with 16.7 points and 7.3 assists per game. The Owls average 70.7 points per game, which is the league’s third most potent offense. Notables The Bulls have not lost back-to-back conference games in the history of The American. The last time USF lost back-to-back conference games was in the Big East Conference in the 2012-13 season when it suffered setbacks to Rutgers and UConn. USF will face a ranked opponent for the third time this season and is looking for its first win. USF’s 42.7 rebounds per game leads the league and its +9.3 rebounding margin ranks second. The Bulls average 71.7 points per game and a +12.8 scoring margin which rank second in the league. The Bulls have totaled 11 wins by 16 or more points, including four against conference opponents. Head coach Jose Fernandez reached 300 career wins Jan. 17. Only three active coaches in the American Athletic Conference have achieved the feat. The Bulls are currently ranked No. 22 in the AP Poll. USF is the only team in NCAA Division I with nine international players on its roster.
  19. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2lDyKuk FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: February 13, 2017 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook No. 22 Bulls Host UCF In War on I-4 TAMPA, FEB. 13, 2017 – T The No. 22 University of South Florida women’s basketball team will play its second game in three days Tuesday when it hosts in-state rival UCF at 7 p.m. The Valentine’s Day match-up will be broadcast on ESPN3, with Drew Fellios (play-by-play) and Steffi Sorensen (analyst) on the call. The USF IMG Sports Network radio broadcast can be heard on AM 820, featuring Mike Lefko and Brigid Merenda. USF (20-4, 9-2 The American) tallied its fifth consecutive 20-win season Sunday in a 66-56 victory over Tulane. The Bulls were led by The American Player of the Week Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) who registered 21 points. Four Bulls poured in double-figure scores. Promotions Valentine’s Day Fans can bring their date to Gate A and receive a carnation, while supplies last. USF Athletics will also give out USF Window Clings to the first 1,000 fans. War on I-4 The UCF and USF athletic departments have announced the official establishment of the War On I-4 rivalry series, which officially began Sept. 21, 2016 with a competition between the two schools’ volleyball programs. The War on I-4 represents a long-standing and passionate rivalry between the fan bases of two of the nation’s largest and fastest growing universities. The Orlando and Tampa Bay metropolitan areas are connected by 100 short miles of Interstate 4 (I-4). Fans will be able to take pictures with the War on I-4 trophy at Gate A. The Opponent USF and UCF will meet for the second time this season and the 34th time in program history. The Bulls hold a 25-8 series advantage. USF is undefeated against the Knights since Dec. 10, 1980 and carry a 19-game win streak into Tuesday’s contest. USF has never lost a home game to its I-4 rival. UCF (15-9, 5-6 The American) is on a two-game win streak with victories over Houston and Tulsa. The Knights are under new direction, led by first year head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. UCF is averaging 64 points and 40 rebounds per game and have the league’s best rebounding defense, limiting opponents to 30 rebounds per game. Notables • With just one meeting on the schedule this season, the winner of Tuesday's game between the Knights and the Bulls will earn all six points towards the overall department score. UCF currently holds an 18-15 edge in the series. • USF’s +9.8 rebounding margin leads The American, and their 72.1 points per game leads the league. • The Bulls have totaled 11 wins by 16 or more points, including four against conference opponents. • Head coach Jose Fernandez reached 300 career wins Jan. 17. Only three active coaches in the American Athletic Conference have achieved the feat. • The Bulls are currently ranked No. 22 in the AP Poll. • USF is the only team in NCAA Division I with nine international players on its roster.
  20. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2kvIMsr FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: February 14, 2017 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook No. 22 USF Edged by UCF TAMPA, FEB. 14, 2017 – Despite a late surge in the final quarter of Tuesday night’s women’s basketball game, the University of South Florida couldn’t overcome UCF at Sun Dome Arena. The Knights defeated the Bulls 66-62 in American Athletic Conference action and garnered six points in the War on I-4 series. The Bulls (20-5, 9-3 The American) had four players in double-figures, led by Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) with 18 points and a team-best eight rebounds. Despite going down with an injury early in the second quarter, freshman Tamara Henshaw (Palm Coast, Fla.) sparked the Bulls’ comeback in the second half when she returned and scored eight of her 14 points in the final quarter. Ariadna Pujol (Mataro, Spain) added 13 points, seven rebounds and eight assists while Kitija Laksa(Riga, Latvia) chipped in 10 points and six rebounds. USF struggled to connect in the second and third quarters, finishing 9-for-15 from the charity stripe. The Bulls’ shot over 50 percent in the first and fourth quarters, but a poor shooting performance (3-for-14) in the second quarter pushed USF down 37-28 at the break. The second quarter proved to be the difference in the game when the Knights outscored the Bulls 20-6 and outrebounded the home team 16-7. Junior Aliyah Gregory finished with 34 points and scored 20 points in the first half. UCF (16-9, 6-6 AAC) was led by Gregory and Zykira Lewis was the only other Knight in double-figures with 12 points. The Knights won the rebounding edge 39-36. Quotables Head coach Jose Fernandez on his team’s effort: “Tonight we turned it over. We didn’t get the second shots off the glass. They made plays. It goes into that fourth quarter and I think we played with some energy. We went to the glass, we made some shots. That second quarter was not good for us.” Head coach Jose Fernandez on UCF: “You know the history of the series, and how important this game is to UCF. It showed. You saw how they celebrated after the game. Hand it to them, they played hard. They were competitive. They played with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.” Key Stat 60% – USF only converted 9-of-15 free throw attempts. Notables UCF increased its lead in the War on I-4 series, taking a 24-15 advantage. Tuesday was the Bulls’ first non-UConn loss at home in American Athletic Conference action since the 2013-14 season. The Bulls snapped a 19-game win streak against UCF and lost to the Knights for the first time in Tampa. Up Next USF will host Temple Sunday its annual Play4Kay game. In a crucial showdown for American Athletic Conference Tournament seeding, the Bulls will play the Owls at 2 p.m.
  21. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2lCqoQx FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: February 11, 2017 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook No. 22 Bulls Return Home, Host Tulane Sunday TAMPA, FEB. 11, 2017 – The No. 22 University of South Florida women’s basketball team plays its first home game in close to two weeks, welcoming Tulane to the USF Sun Dome Arena on Sunday at noon. The Bulls will face the Green Wave for the second time this season in American Athletic Conference action. The Feb. 12 game will be broadcast on ESPN2, with Jenn Hildreth (play-by-play) and Sue Bird (analyst) on the call. USF IMG Sports Network radio broadcast can be heard on AM 1040, featuring Mike Lefko and Brigid Merenda. USF (19-4, 8-2 The American) is one win away from its fifth consecutive 20-win season. The Bulls look to tally its 20th win in their 25th contest of the season which would be the second fastest any program has reached 20 wins. Promotions National Girls & Women in Sports Day On Sunday, USF will celebrate National Girls & Women in Sports with a free pregame clinic featuring student athletes from the volleyball, women’s soccer, track & field and Spirit Squad. Registration starts at 10 a.m. in The Corral. The clinic will run from 10:30 to 11:30 am. This year marks the 31st anniversary of annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day, a national observance celebrating the extraordinary achievements of women and girls in sports. For more information, click HERE. Girl Scout & Family Day Girl Scout troops from around the Tampa Bay area are invited to join in the fun of a USF women’s basketball game. There will be a Fan Zone at Gate B which features family friendly games and activities, including a sign making station, corn hole and more. The team will also be available post game for autographs. USF Student Fraternity & Sorority Life Day The first 100 members of Fraternity & Sorority Life will receive access to the Coca-Cola Student Club for free pizza and drinks. The Opponent USF and Tulane will meet for the second time this season and the 24th time in program history. The Green Wave holds a 19-15 series advantage but the Bulls have won nine of the last ten meetings. Tulane is 11-7 at Sun Dome Arena but the Bulls haven’t lost on their home court since 2009. USF rolled past Tulane 62-53 earlier this season, powered by Maria Jespersen, who posted her sixth double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Tulane (15-9, 6-5 The American) looks to bounce back after a two-game skid. The Green Wave dropped back-to-back contests to Temple and Memphis at home. Tulane averages 56 points per game and are led by Kolby Morgan and Leslie Vorpahl with 19 and 12 points per game respectively. Notables The Bulls are one win away from their fifth consecutive 20-win season, the ninth in program history. Head coach Jose Fernandez has been at the helm for all eight 20-win seasons. The 2014-15 team reached 20 wins in 24 games, and still currently holds the best record for most wins in a season (27). Laia Flores (Mataro, Spain) continues to rank second in the country with an assist to turnover ratio of 3.5. The junior has 143 assists this season which ranks seventh in the USF single season record book. USF’s +9.7 rebounding margin is second in The American, as is their 72.4 points per game and +13.7. The Bulls have totaled 11 wins by 16 or more points, including four against conference opponents. Head coach Jose Fernandez reached 300 career wins Jan. 17. Only three active coaches in the American Athletic Conference have achieved the feat. The Bulls are currently ranked No. 22 in the AP Poll. USF is the only team in NCAA Division I with nine international players on its roster.
  22. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2l0iT5S FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: Feb. 13, 2017 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Laksa and Henshaw Sweep Weekly Awards TAMPA, FEB. 13, 2017 – A pair of Bulls picked up both American Athletic Conference weekly awards after a 2-0 week for the University of South Florida women’s basketball team, the league announced Monday. Sophomore forward Kitija Laksa was tabbed Player of the Week and freshman forward Tamara Henshaw brought home Freshman of the Week honors. Laksa (Riga, Latvia) averaged 27.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game while shooting 57.9 percent in a pair of wins for the Bulls, which included a win over a top-50 RPI Tulane Sunday. The three-time Player of the Week started the week with her fifth 30-point outing this season, pouring in 34 points at East Carolina, four points shy of her career high. Laksa finished 14-for-22 (.636) and was 4-for-8 from long range. Against Tulane, the sophomore powered the Bulls to a 10-point victory with 21 points, shooting 50 percent (8-for-16). Henshaw (Palm Coast, Fla. averaged 9.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 75 percent from the floor. Henshaw played a crucial role in the Bulls’ road victory at ECU and tallied her third double-double outing of her career with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The two-time Freshman of the Week only missed one shot (5-of-6) and three assists, two blocks and two steals in a full stat line. Against Tulane, Henshaw just missed her fourth double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds but added a career-high four blocks. Laksa, Henshaw and the Bulls will get their shot in the War on I-4 rivalry game Tuesday and look to even the score in the all-sports series. UCF currently leads, 18-15. USF will host the Knights in a Valentine’s Day match-up at 7 p.m. at the Sun Dome Arena.
  23. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2lFTrCH FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: February 12, 2017 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Bulls Reach 20 Wins, Defeat Tulane TAMPA, FEB. 12, 2017 – It’s been a season of highlights for the University of South Florida women’s basketball team and on Sunday it added another by notching the 20th win of the season. The Bulls defeated Tulane 66-56 at Sun Dome Arena. USF (20-4, 9-2 The American) dominated the glass, outrebounding Tulane 41-30. Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) tallied a game-high 11 rebounds while freshman Tamara Henshaw (Palm Coast, Fla.) grabbed 10. Jespersen added 14 points for her ninth double-double performance of the season while Henshaw just missed her fourth double-double with eight points. Henshaw also added four blocks. Sharp shooter Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) turned in another stellar performance with a game-high 21 points, shooting 50 percent (8-for-16). The Mataro, Spain duo of Ariadna Pujol and Laia Flores combined for 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Flores played all 40 minutes. The Bulls only trailed once, by one point, early in the first quarter, but for the majority of Sunday’s matinee, led by double-figures. Back-to-back three pointers by Flores and Laksa in the first quarter sparked the Bulls offense that entered the half with a six-point lead. Jespersen turned in another strong third quarter performance with seven points to give the Bulls a 45-34 advantage entering the final quarter. Both teams offense surged in the fourth quarter, but despite the Green Wave’s pressure, USF pulled out another 10-point victory. Tulane (15-10, 6-6 AAC) was led by Kolby Morgan with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Leslie Vorpahl added 19 points, five rebounds and five assists. Quotables Sophomore Kitija Laksa (#33) on facing Tulane’s defense: “We played a good team today, they are great. We have a lot of respect for them. They have great players and the way they change up defense gets us confused and forces turnovers. I think we responded well and made adjustments. Coach told us they are going to pressure us and get in zone and switch up defenses but I think we responded and we got the win.” Head coach Jose Fernandez on his team’s defensive and rebounding effort: “Four guys in double figures. It feels good to be back home after that road trip. I thought we did a really good job defending in the first half, besides that 8-0 run they went on. That’s the only thing we talked about at half time. We did a much better job keeping them off the glass. They had offensive rebounds in the first half, but they only had two in the last 20 minutes. Laia Flores, is playing on her ankle and giving us everything she can. She was so proud of her toughness on national TV. Every injury is different, but looking at the swelling and the pain that she has been playing through the last 60 minutes is big.” Key Stat 30– USF scored 30 points in the paint, marking the second-straight game USF has outscored opponents in the paint. Tulane was limited to just 22. 4- USF had four players in double-figures and five players with at least four rebounds. Notables USF (19-4, 9-2 The American) collected its fifth consecutive 20-win season. The Bulls tallied its 20th win in their 24th contest of the season which tied the fastest any program has reached 20 wins. This is the ninth 20-win season in program history and head coach Jose Fernandez has been at the helm for all nine 20-win seasons. The 2014-15 team reached 20 wins in 24 games, and still currently holds the best record for most wins in a season (27). Laksa has totaled 11 20-point games this season, including four during the conference season. Up Next USF remains at home and will play in the War on I-4 Tuesday against UCF. The Bulls will celebrate Valentine’s Day at 7 p.m. at the Sun Dome Arena.
  24. WBB: LAKSA, BULLS RUN PAST ECU IN SECOND HALF By TOM ZEBOLD USF Senior Writer GREENVILLE, N.C., FEB. 8, 2017 – Kitija Laksascored 18 of her 34 points in the second half to lead a late surge by the No. 22 Bulls in a 76-66 comeback victory over East Carolina at Minges Coliseum. USF (19-4, 8-2) grabbed the lead late in the third quarter and never looked back, scoring 39 points in the second half to complete the regular season sweep of ECU (10-14, 1-10). Laksa finished four points shy of her career high while going 14-for-22 from the field and 4-for-8 from long range. USF shot 51 percent overall after getting the boost it needed from starting point guard Laia Flores (Spain), who battled through an injury after missing the first half. Junior Maria Jespersen (Denmark) scored nine of her 16 points in the second half. Freshman Tamara Henshaw(Palm Coast, Fla.) posted the third double-double of her career with 11 points and 10 rebounds. ECU led for 16 minutes of the first half and headed into the break with a 39-37 advantage. The Pirates started with a 19-13 rebounding edge that led to 11 second-chance points. The Bulls’ offense bounced back quickly from the loss to Memphis by shooting 50 percent from the field in the opening half. Laksa knocked down seven of her first 12 shots to get up to 16 points by the break. USF used a 10-0 run to seize the momentum late in the third quarter, grabbing a 54-52 lead on a Jespersen layup with 1:23 remaining. Laksa scored 10 points in the quarter and her jumper pumped the advantage up to 56-52 heading into the final period. ECU cut a six-point deficit in half in the first two minutes of the fourth, but the Bulls pulled away in their best road victory ever in Greenville. USF improved to 3-3 at ECU and had never won by more than seven in the series away from Tampa. Quotables Head coach Jose Fernandez on the impact of having Laia Flores in the second half: “That just shows how tough that kid is. She wanted to give it a go and did a great job… We’re a different team without Laia Flores on the floor and we saw that today.” Key Stats 31-for-60 -- USF shot 51.7 percent from the field and outscored ECU, 39-27, in the second half. 17 – The number of assisted totaled by USF, compared to only 10 turnovers committed by the Bulls. 15 – USF scored 15 points off 16 takeaways while ECU struggled down the stretch, shooting 37 percent in the second half. Notables - USF played four of its past five games on the road, finishing the stretch with a 4-1 record. - USF is one victory away from its fifth consecutive 20-win season and the ninth in program history. - Kitija Laksa scored at least 30 points for the fifth time this season and the seventh time of her career.