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Found 278 results

  1. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: Feb. 25, 2018 WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2HITU1Y Bulls End Regular Season at No. 1 UConn Matchup: 18/17 USF (24-5, 13-2) vs. 1/1 UConn (28-0, 15-0) Date: Monday, Feb. 26 Time: 7:00 p.m. Location: Storrs, Conn. | Gampbel Pavilion Watch: ESPN2 Radio: AM 1040 | BullsUnlimited (Darek Sharp) Follow: Listen | Live Stats | Twitter TAMPA, FEB. 25, 2018 – No. 17 USF will face No. 1 UConn Monday night in front of a national audience. The Bulls will play their fourth top-15 team in their regular season finale on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. The Bulls (24-5, 13-2 The American) enter Monday’s match-up fresh off their ninth-straight win. USF disposed of Cincinnati, 84-65, in its 24th win this season. The Bulls matched their win totals of the last two seasons. The most wins recorded in program history is 27. Only two teams in program history have recorded 25 wins in a single season. USF’s senior class of Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) and Laia Flores (Mataro, Spain) had career games in their last outing at the Sun Dome. Jespersen collected her 13th 20-point outing this season with a game-high 26 points. Jespersen leads the team in scoring in The American with 20.3 points per game. The forward’s 17 double-doubles rank eighth in NCAA Division I. Flores recorded her seventh 10-plus assists game with a season high 12 assists. Flores ranks fourth in the country with a 3.80 assist turnover ratio and her 190 assists lead the league and rank tenth among the nation’s best. Flores is 10 assists away from tying the Bulls’ single season record which the senior set last season. THE OPPONENT UConn (28-0, 13-0 The American) remains unbeaten and claimed The American regular season title with an 80-36 victory at SMU Sunday. The Huskies average 90.5 points per game and lead the county in field goal percentage, shooting at a 53.4 clip. The Bulls and Huskies will meet for the 25th time in program history. The pair first met in 2002 and UConn has never lost to USF. The pair last met in Tampa on Jan. 6 and won 100-49. NOTABLES No matter the outcome, the Bulls final record in the league will be the best in program history. USF’s best finish in The American is 15-3 (.833) in 2014-15. The American shifted to a 16-game schedule in 2016-17 season and the Bulls finished 11-5 (.688). Kitija Laksa leads the conference with 21.0 points per game. The junior is one of 10 players with at least 100 three-point field goals this season. The junior’s 105 treys rank sixth in Division I. Laksa continues to lead the country in free throw percentage. Laksa has converted 101-of-104 free throw attempts. Laksa’s 97 free throw percentage is the best of any division, men or women. The senior duo of Maria Jespersen and Laia Flores are one win away from 100-career victories. The pair are already the winningest class in program history. Jespersen has a league-best 17 double-doubles this season. Flores leads the league in three different categories: assist-turnover ratio (3.80), assists (190) and assists per game (6.6). She ranks in the top 20 nationally in all three categories. Throughout the month of February, the Bulls will compete in a national fundraiser for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. For every free throw made, fans can pledge funds toward the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. The Bulls current free throw tally is 132 made free throws. USF is currently No. 18 in the AP poll and is No. 17 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. The Bulls started the season ranked No. 23/22 and peaked at No. 16 (AP – week 4) and No. 16 (Coaches – weeks 3-4). USF has been ranked in the coaches’ poll every week and has received votes in every AP Poll. The program’s highest ranking in both polls was in 2016, when the Bulls were ranked No. 15 (AP – Jan. 18 | Coaches – Jan. 19). To stay up-to-date on the latest USF women’s basketball news, follow the Bulls on social media (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram).
  2. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: February 24, 2018 WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2HJWEMz Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Seniors Shine in Final Home Game Maria Jespersen and Laia Flores became the winningest class in program history in an 84-65 victory over Cincinnati. TAMPA, FEB. 24, 2018 – With an 84-65 victory over Cincinnati Sunday, seniors Maria Jespersen and Laia Flores became the winningest class in program history. The seniors collected win number 99 in front of a crowd of over 2,500 fans at the Sun Dome. USF (24-5, 13-2 The American) utilized all nine players on their active roster but the two seniors shined brighter than ever. Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) scored 26 points and grabbed a season high 16 rebounds. The double-double outing marked her 17th this season. Jespersen shot 50 percent from the floor and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. Flores (Mataro, Spain), known for her flashy passing, dished out a new season high, 12 assists. The point guard also added two blocks and two steals. USF held Cincinnati (17-11, 9-6) to 15 points in each of the first three quarters and held its tenth team in the last 11 games to just 65 points. The Bulls had four players in double figures. Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) turned in 22 while Laura Ferreira (Lisboa, Portugal) just missed a double-double with 12 points and eight assists. Alyssa Rader (Thornton, Colo.) added 14 points. Quotable Head coach Jose Fernandez's the seniors’ finale: “For those two seniors, it’s been an emotional week. For what they’ve meant to our program, not only as teammates but as people and as student-athletes at the University of South Florida, we’re going to miss them. Maria had 26 points and 16 rebounds and Laia having 12 assists, hopefully this isn’t the last game we play in the Sun Dome this season. They’ve’ been really, really special to this program and this university. Key Stats 21 – The Bulls had a balanced offense with 21 assists on 26 field goals. 36 – USF out-rebounded Cincinnati 36-27. Notable Jespersen’s 17 double-doubles leads The American and the senior has recorded a #DenmarkDouble in each of the Bulls last five games. Jespersen has turned in double-double performances in 9 of her last 11 outings. Flores’ 12 assists are a season high and the senior has recorded 10-plus assists on seven different occasions this year. The Bulls are 13-1 at home this season, including a 7-1 record at home in The American. Since 2014, the Bulls are 51-9 at the Sun Dome. USF boasts a 28-6 all-time record in The American at the Dome. USF has out-rebounded its opponents in its last eight outings. Up Next The Bulls travel to Storrs for their regular season finale at UConn. USF will face the No. 1 team for the second time this season. The game is set for 7 p.m. and will air on ESPN2 for “Big Monday.”
  3. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: Feb. 23, 2018 WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2EMHzMp Bulls to Honor Trailblazing Seniors on Saturday MATCHUP: Cincinnati (17-10, 9-5) at No. 17 USF (23-5, 12-2) DATE/TIME: Saturday, Feb. 24/5 p.m. LOCATION: Sun Dome WATCH ONLINE: BullsVision RADIO: 1040-AM, Bulls Unlimited FOLLOW: Stats | Twitter TICKETS: USFBullsTix.com By TOM ZEBOLD USF Senior Writer TAMPA, FEB. 23, 2018 – The Sun Dome is the place to be on Saturday to watch the most successful senior class in USF women's basketball history possibly suit up at home for the final time. Get to your seats early to see the program honor Maria Jespersen and Laia Flores prior to the Bulls' 5 p.m. regular season home finale against Cincinnati. "Our program wouldn't be where it is today if it wasn't for having those two quality young ladies that have been so successful in the classroom, in the community and on the basketball court," head coach Jose Fernandez said. Since heading to USF from Denmark and Spain, Jespersen and Flores have helped build the 17th-ranked program into a winning force on the national scene. They're on pace to become the first-ever class in USF history to make four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and another huge feat is on the horizon. Beating the Bearcats on Saturday would give this senior class 99 career victories, which would mark a new milestone in USF history. "We just have to go get the win," Jespersen said. Jespersen played an increasing role in USF's success the past three seasons and she's put it all together as a senior. The fantastic forward from Arhus, Denmark leads the conference with 16 double-doubles this season and she's close to a double-double average with 18.3 points and a conference-leading 9.8 rebounds per game. Jespersen needs 28 more rebounds to move into a tie for fifth on USF's career chart with Jessica Lawson (863) and she'll be ready to crash the boards on a bittersweet Saturday at the Sun Dome. "It's going to be really emotional. I've been so happy playing here for four years," Jespersen said. "The atmosphere in the arena is amazing and it's going to be hard to know that (it could be) the last time we play in that gym." Like Jespersen, Flores has given Bulls fans a ton to cheer about during her run at the Sun Dome. Using her smooth dribbling skills and laser court vision, the productive point guard set USF's season assists record with 200 in 2016-17. Flores is 22 more dishes away from stacking up her second straight 200-assist season and she's handed out the ball with care as a senior, ranking fourth nationally with an assist-turnover ratio of plus-3.79. The Mataro, Spain native leads the conference with 6.4 assists per game and Flores is primed for another an impressive performance Saturday with her parents, Francesc and Margarita, in attendance. "I'm really excited," Flores said. "It's kind of emotional after four years here at USF. I've been through a lot and I'm definitely going to miss it." Fernandez describes his upcoming fond USF farewell to Jespersen and Flores as "tough," but he'll always have a place in his heart for these two unforgettable Bulls. "When you talk to both of them, they'll tell you this was their dream – to come to the United States, go to school, learn a new culture and play basketball at the highest level," Fernandez said. "It's great to hear that they talk about their friendships, what they've learned and how they've grown. They were totally different when they arrived here. They came in as young girls and now they're leaving as grown women, and that's great to see." Notable • TOP-25 BULLS: USF is up No. 17 in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll and ranks No. 18 in the AP Top 25. • HOME SUCCESS: With a win on Saturday, USF would post only the program's second one-loss season home stand. The Bulls are 11-1 at home this season and went 15-1 at the Sun Dome in 2015-16. • LAKSA FROM LONG RANGE: Junior sharpshooter Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) has matched her own single-season high of 101 made three-pointers. Laksa is one of only six players nationally to make more than 100 and she needs only 16 more to tie Janae Stokes for the USF season record of 117 set in 2008-09. The NCAA season three-pointer record is 124.
  4. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: February 21, 2018 WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2CBukIN Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Bulls Clinch No. 2 seed in The American tournament, defeat Houston In a dramatic first half, USF used a 17-0 run to dispose of Houston at the Sun Dome TAMPA, FEB. 21, 2018 – No. 17 USF defeated Houston, 81-65, Wednesday night and clinched the No. 2 seed in the American Athletic Conference Tournament. The Bulls utilized a suffocating 17-0 run at the end of the first half to spark their third 80-point outing in six games. USF (23-5, 12-2 The American) took the first quarter to adjust to a wild Cougars (20-8, 9-5) team. Down five at the end of the first quarter, the Bulls went to work. USF chipped away at a Houston lead of 10 points and a jumper byKitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) sparked a burst of offense in the final three minutes of the half. The Bulls made three of their five first-half three-pointers in the final minutes and carried a 42-33 lead into the break. The hot-streak extended into the second half, as USF stretched its run to 21-0, forcing a Houston timeout. The Bulls never looked back. Laksa finished with 32 points while Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) added 19 points and 11 rebounds. Jespersen collected her 16th double-double of the season in the first 20 minutes with 13 points and 11 boards. Laia Flores (Mataro, Spain) distributed 11 of the team’s 16 assists and added seven points and five rebounds. The senior only committed two turnovers. Laura Ferreira (Lisboa, Portugal) remained constant in her defensive prowess and collected nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals. The redshirt-junior also added five points and four assists. Quotable Head coach Jose Fernandez's thoughts on Houston: “Give credit to Houston, they are a tough team to prepare for. Everything they do on the defensive end: jump between man-to-man, 1-2-2 zone, corner court, trapping in the half court, they make you do things you’re not used to seeing in practice. It’s hard to mimic that many variations. I thought we needed to do a great job of keeping them in front of us and defending the arc.” Head coach Jose Fernandez's keys to the game: We told our team, we need to play through their physicality and play through fouls. Houston averages 24-25 fouls per game. We had to meet passes and play through that physicality. We closed the half and came out into the first three, four minutes of the third quarter, that was good to see. Us getting to the line and making our free throws was huge.” Key Stats 45 – The Bulls out-rebounded Houston 45-36. 27 – USF converted 27-of-31 free throw attempts. 26 – The Bulls scored 26 points in the paint and limited Houston to just 18. Notable Jespersen’s 16 double-doubles lead The American and the senior has recorded a #DenmarkDouble in each of the Bulls last four games. Jespersen has turned in double-double performances in 8 of her last 10 outings. Laksa has scored 30-points in back-to-back games for the first time in her career. The junior has collected 12, 30-point performances in her three years, including five this season. Flores’ 11 assists are a season high, which she has reached five times this season. The Bulls are 12-1 at home this season, including a 6-1 record at home in The American. Since 2014, the Bulls are 50-9 at the Sun Dome. USF boasts a 27-6 all-time record in The American at the Dome. USF has outrebounded its opponents in its last eight outings.
  5. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: February 18, 2018 WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2EBpKjp Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Bulls Claim All Six Points in War on I-4, Down UCF 77-68 No. 22/21 USF defeats UCF 77-68 in overtime thriller. ORLANDO, FEB. 18, 2018 – Kitija Laksa and Maria Jespersen combined for 53 points Sunday in an overtime thriller at UCF. The Bulls swept the series against the Knights after a 77-68 win at CFE Arena. USF claimed all six points in the War on I-4 series. USF (22-5, 11-2 The American) clinched its seventh straight victory in dramatic fashion. The Bulls gained a two-game cushion over third place UCF (17-9, 9-4 The American) in American Athletic Conference standings. With under two minutes remaining in regulation, Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) sunk a three-pointer from the top of the key to tie the game at 57. In the next possession, Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) gave the Bulls a three-point lead, their first since UCF went on an 11-0 run earlier in the quarter. The Knights tied the game with 11 seconds left, forcing the Bulls’ into overtime. The extra period belonged to the Bulls. USF shot 60 percent from the floor and 50 percent from long range in final five minutes. Laia Flores (Mataro, Spain) scored five of her eight points in overtime, including a dagger with one minute to play. Laksa finished with a game-high 32 points and Jespersen followed with 21. Jespersen grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds in her 15th double-double this season. Laura Ferreira (Lisboa, Portugal) had a solid outing with eight points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals. Key Stats 15 – USF scored 15 points in overtime and held UCF to just six points. 3 – The Bulls defense forced three UCF turnovers in overtime. Notable • The Bulls have won seven-straight games, their longest streak of the year. • USF remains perfect against the Knights in Orlando since 1980. The Bulls improved their series record to 27-9. USF has won 21 of the last 22 meetings. • Kitija Laksa has netted four 30-point outings this season, 11 in her career. • USF improved to 8-2 on the road this season. • USF has outrebounded its opponents in its last seven outings. Up Next USF will return to the Sun Dome Wednesday when it hosts Houston at 7 p.m.
  6. Not in order of start time SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18TH, 2018 MEN'S GOLF AT SUNTRUST GATOR INVITATIONAL GAINESVILLE, FL WOMEN'S SAILING VS USF WOMEN'S INTERCONFERENCE ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. PREVIEW WOMEN'S TENNIS NOON AT SMU DALLAS, TEXAS PREVIEW WOMEN'S BASKETBALL 12:00 PM CBS SPORTS NETWORK AM 1040 AT UCF ORLANDO, FLA. LIVE AUDIO TICKETS PREVIEW SOFTBALL 1:30 P.M. VS MISSOURI CLEARWATER, FLA. LIVE STATS PREVIEW MEN'S BASKETBALL 3:00 PM ESPN3 AM 820 / USF BULLS UNLIMITED AT TULSA TULSA, OK LIVE AUDIO LIVE STATS TICKETS PREVIEW BASEBALL 12:00 PM VS #6 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA TAMPA, FLA. LIVE VIDEO LIVE STATS TICKETS PREVIEW
  7. 38 years

    NO. 21 BULLS FACE UCF IN WAR ON I-4 FINALE Matchup: 22/21USF (21-5, 10-2 The American) at UCF (17-8, 9-3 The American)Date: Sunday, Feb. 18Time: 12:00 p.m.Location: Orlando, Fla. | CFE ArenaWatch: CBS Sports NetworkRadio: AM 1040 (Darek Sharp | Brigid Merenda)Follow: Listen | Live Stats | TwitterTAMPA, FEB. 17, 2018 – It's been 38 years since the USF women's basketball team has lost to its cross-state rival on the road. In fact, the Bulls have only lost to the Knights eight times in Orlando since their first meeting in 1973. All eight losses came before 1980. On Sunday, the Bulls look to tally another victory, this time fighting for the remaining three points in the War on I-4 rivalry series. Rest of Story
  8. Game Recap: Women's Basketball | February 14, 2018 Bulls Recognize Cancer Survivors in Play4Kay Win TAMPA, FEB. 14, 2018 – The USF Sun Dome was full of pink on Valentine's Day as the No. 22/21 Bulls honored breast cancer survivors in their annual Play4Kay pink game. Prior to USF's 64-54 route of SMU, seven brave women joined the starting line-ups in an emotional stand against the disease that affects millions. Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) led the Bulls' offense with 28 points and added 10 rebounds in her 14th double-double this season. Jespersen shot 50 percent from long range and finished 8-of-19 from the floor. The forward filled her stat line with four assists, two blocks, one steal and didn't tally a single turnover. The Bulls (21-5, 10-2 The American) recovered from a slow start in the first half with a 23-point third quarter. USF stretched its lead to 16-points at the end of the frame, its largest lead of the game. Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half. USF never trailed the Mustangs (10-16, 4-9 The American) and fended off a late rally in the final minutes of the game. SMU outscored the Bulls, 23-19 in the fourth quarter. Quotable Head coach Jose Fernandez's thoughts on the Bulls' defense: Rest of story
  9. Finally, finally, finally. In an nationally relevant game against a ranked team in a pressure situation USF prevailed. One could argue the biggest win sine UWV (too much?) Not only did they beat OSU they rolled them, handily holding a double digit lead almost the whole game. It was exciting to anyone who watched the control, precision and accuracy this team played with. This launches USF onto the fringes of any dark horse Natty talk. I wish I could hope that USF could finally find a way to beat UConn but thats just not happening anymore than USF Men's team can go out and beat Villanova. So we can expect at least 2 more losses before the dance seeding. Will a 26-8 team get to a #2 or #3? Doubt it. But what if, theoretically speaking, the entire UConn team accidently drank LSD laced water and we were able to beat them in triple OT by a point would that be enough to push us into a 2 or 3 seed? Maybe. And if you don't follow women's basketball and don't know how good of a team UConn is you may say to yourself. Well jeez, this is quite possibly the best USF team coming off a huge win with a ton of momentum, why cant it happen USF beating UConn? Ok, sit down little fella and lemme explain. IN the past 4 season including this one, USF and UConn have played each other 10 times. Thats 3 times a season and most likely will be this year as well. Not only has Uconn won all ten times, but are winning by and avg of 34 points a games. UConn scores, on average 89 points while USF can only muster, on avg 55 points. And you wanna microcosm? 51 points. Thats how many points USF lost by in their first matchup with UConn this year. Thats 2 more points than USF scored the entire game (49). USF beating UConn would be incredible, but not happening, sorry sparky. However before any scenario can happen the Bulls play one more at home and then a couple of relatively big games away v UCF (road trip anyone?) and then home against Cincy and Houston before finishing the reg season against the aforementioned, currently not LSD induced UConn team. A 24 win reg season would match what the Bulls had in 2014-15 when they were a 6 seed. As far as the projections go, USF is back in UConns bracket again with a first round matchup against Western KY. #1s are UConn, MissS, Baylor and Notre Dame On the Mens side, well lets just say they are still playing mens basketball in the Sundome. The dream of multiple #1s form the same conference is dead as Villanova(BE), Virginia(ACC), Cincinnati(AAC) and Purdue(B10) are the number ones. Projections below.
  10. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: February 11, 2018 WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2Bpc1JT Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Bulls Overpower No. 13 Ohio State to Reach 20 Wins By TOM ZEBOLD USF Senior Writer TAMPA, FEB. 11, 2018 – No. 22 USF reached its sixth consecutive 20-win season in remarkable fashion by overpowering No. 13 Ohio State, 84-65, before a rocking crowd of 2,852 at the Sun Dome on Sunday. Kitija Laksa matched The American's single-game record with career-high 41 points to lead charge in the Bulls' first victory over a top-15 team since defeating Louisville in Kentucky on Feb. 20, 2013. The junior sharp-shooter from Riga, Latvia knocked down eight of USF's 11 three-pointers in her second 40-point outing of the season. Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) also shined in USF's fifth straight win by securing her 13th double-double of the season with 20 points and a season-high 14 rebounds to help the Bulls (20-5) rule the boards by a 46-26 margin. Senior point guard Laia Flores (Mataro, Spain) grabbed eight rebounds and matched a season high by dishing out 11 of USF's 19 total assists. Freshman Alba Prieto (Seville, Spain) scored eight points in 11 minutes to help the Bulls finish with a 14-2 edge in bench points. Dominating in all aspects of the game, USF electrified the Sun Dome from the start, a three-pointer by Laksa, on the way to a 46-32 halftime lead. The Bulls exploded out of the gates and used a 15-1 run over the final four minutes of the first quarter to grab a 31-13 advantage. Laksa scored 18 of her 23 first-half points in the opening quarter and went 4-for-6 from long range in the first two periods. Jespersen also started in a groove with nine points and seven rebounds, as the Bulls opened with a 28-11 advantage on the boards. Prieto gave the Bulls a big lift in the second quarter, scoring all eight of her points during the period with a pair of three-pointers. Up by 18 after the third, USF led by as many as 28 points in the final quarter and used a relentless effort on the defensive end to seal the deal. Ohio State (20-6) came into the Sun Dome ranking third nationally in scoring offense before being held well below its 86.2 points per game average. Laura Ferreira's stellar defensive effort helped limit OSU star Kelsey Mitchell to nine first-half points. Mitchell, the nation's third-leading scorer, finished with 19 points a game after pouring in 28 against Rutgers. Quotable Head coach Jose Fernandez's thoughts on the Bulls' big win: "That was a great atmosphere here in the Dome. I'm really proud of our group, the way that we shared it. I know Kit had a special day, and having Maria and Kit shoot the ball as they did. I thought the biggest thing we wanted to do was rebound collectively, hold them to one shot, and try and get out and run and score in transition. That was the biggest thing for us… I'm really proud of our guys. I think it was a great game for women's basketball and national TV as well." Fernandez on Kitija Laksa's performance: "She's a special player. When she's in a zone, she's just as good as any scorer, shooter in the country. The big thing is she got really good looks. A lot of her looks were open looks and she knocked them down." Maria Jespersen on the statement USF made with the victory and Laura Ferreira's defensive contributions: "I think it shows what we're capable of. I think everybody on the team did their part today. Laura Ferreira today, we don't win without her. Her defense was tremendous. She does this every day for us, but today she had to go up against Mitchell. She just does a phenomenal job and she should get a lot of credit for this game, this win." Key Stats 46 – USF kept an Ohio State comeback out of reach by dominating on the glass by a 46-26 margin. 31 – The Bulls seized the momentum with a 31-point opening quarter and grabbed an 18-lead in the period. 17 – USF scored 17 second-chance points while finishing with a 15-6 edge in offensive rebounds. 14 – Reserves also stepped up to help USF finish with a 14-2 scoring advantage in bench points. Notable • Kitija Laksa matched The American's single-game record with 41 points and finished three points shy of the USF game record of 44 points by Shantia Grace against Coppin State on Nov. 23, 2008. • Laksa now owns the USF record for 30-point games with 10, breaking a tie with Wanda Guyton (1985, 87-89). Laksa needs eight more three-pointers to match USF's season record of 117 by Janae Stokes (2008-09). • Laksa moved up to seventh on USF's all-time scoring list with 1,504 points. Laksa needs six more points to move into a tie for sixth place with Mary Klinewski (1981-85). • Maria Jespersen moved up to 13th on USF's career scoring list with 1,289 points. • USF improved to 10-1 at home this season. Up Next USF will host SMU in the program's annual Play4Kay game on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. Learn more about the Play4Kay initiative HERE and reserve your seats for USF-SMU at USFBullsTix.com.
  11. One example of how women's sports is better than men's is that the power 5+1 (Big East) bias is less obvious. For example in Men's Basketball, Rhode Island has the third most difficult OOC schedule in the country, has only 3 losses on the season(all 3 on the road) has wins against Seton Hall and Providence but are only ranked 22nd. They most certainly will get a NCAA seed far lower than their 6th best RPI would indicate. We'll keep them at a #2 until they show us they aren't but they more than likely will get a 5-7 seed. This bias is far less obvious in the women's side, sure Green Bay is the highest ranked non-p5+1 at 20th but they DESERVE that spot as their RPI is in the mid-teens. Same with USF, a 27 RPI should put them in the 20-30 range.Now you could argue Buffalo at 21 RPI isnt getting any love at 39th-ish in the polls but as I am sure you are well aware, the farther away from #1 the more variation you have in pollsters. Buffalo's example is very different than URIs as a potential 1-seed but ending up with a 7-seed. Any rate, on the men's side we still have a potential, although less likely now, that you may have two #1s coming from the same conference, Villanova, Xavier from the Big East. The VX matchup is now 12 days away. We are calling Clemson a #1 although that is about as likely as URI getting the 1 seed, that will most likely go to a Purdue or Auburn or Kansas. Virginia is currently the only #1 lock. On the women's side, a nice run by the Bulls has them at a mid 7 seed currently projected to face Syracuse in Mississippi St's south conference. Lets stay there, not interested in being in UConn's quarter. Houston and UCF have wormed there way into the dance as a 11 and 12 seed respectively. That puts 9 teams into the dance that the Bulls have or will have faced in the regular season. Battle-tested teams tend to hang around over their talent level and the Bulls are battled tested to be sure. The team has 5 of 7 at home to close out the season with the next 3 being at the SunDome. ECU comes first in what is an obvious trap game, hopefully, and I wouldn't expect otherwise, CJF will have them prepared for that. Ohio State comes in after that, a huge opportunity to put the stamp on the potential of this team. OSU is 3-3 over their last 6 but are on a 3 game winning streak. The home stand rounds out with SMU. The Bulls should be at 20 wins by the time they head out of Tampa and up the road to UCF for what will be a huge matchup for the Knights. Current Projections
  12. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2rNTMua FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: Jan. 29, 2018 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Jespersen Earns First Player of the Week Honor USF senior Maria Jespersen receives her first Player of the Week Honor TAMPA, JAN. 29, 2018 – Senior Maria Jespersen has played in over 120 games for the Bulls but it was her near perfect, 24-point performance that finally clinched her first American Athletic Conference Player of Week honor. The senior forward has been recognized on the league’s weekly honor roll 10 times in the last two seasons, but Monday marks her first Player of the Week distinction. Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) led the Bulls to a bounce back win against Temple on Sunday. Jespersen scored a game-high 24 points and turned in a nearly perfect offensive outing. The forward finished 8-of-11 from the floor, 2-of-3 from behind the arc and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe. Jespersen also filled her stat line with six rebounds, two blocks and two assists. Jespersen averages a team-high 18.1 points per game in conference action and has turned in 8.6 rebounds per game. The preseason all-conference honoree has tallied seven 20-plus point outings this season.
  13. You know how it is, after the argument, the one where you threatened to leave each other and told each other how much of an azzhole they are. The one that could happen in public at the same intensity it does in private because at this point you really dont care. That argument. But as long as you survive the fight and I mean you as in the relationship, you know whats next and now I mean you as in you know. The makeup sesh. The makeup session is the best, most intense, most powerful and most irrational part of the relationship. It is also awesome. A week ago, the men lost to UCF and the women lost to Wichita St. Those ouctomes resulted in a fight that almost brought down the house. , but it didn't and what came next was nothing short of miraculous. They are already calling it the Miracle at Mingle, the Nawhlins nightmare, the terror in Tulane. OK no one is calling it that but GD the Bulls didn't just win a conference game, they won a ROAD conference game, first time in like 65 seasons or something like that. I mean they tried to lose almost blowing a 23 pt lead to win by 5. But it doesn't matter if they won by one THEY WON! And just like that they wormed there way back into our hearts, we love those scrappy Bulls, and yeah they instantly laid an egg at Houston losing by more then they lost to them the previous meeting but it's ok, it'll be ok let's just face these games together one at a time, it'll make us stronger as a couple. let's not forget the ladies, boy do they know how to initiate a makeup session. Jesperson, Laksa and Flores reminded us what we'd be missing if we decided to leave. Although being down by 1 at half, the Bulls scored something like 99 of the next 100 points and the 76-60 final was much closer than it actually was as the Bulls were up by 27 points at one point. The offense and defensive control were at completed odds with the runaway train offense against Wichita St. We fell in love once again with the joy those Bulls play the game and are left wondering what we were arguing about. The ladies are going on the road for two and our hearts go with them. The Boyz play party host as they continue to build towards some semblance of basketball prowess against Memphis and Tulsa at home. We'll see how things go. Dance wise, the ladies are sitting around mid-8th but that will change as the team plays 5 games in 15 days starting on Wednesday @ Tulsa, then @Tulane the home against ECU, OSU, and SMU. Currently USF is projected to be in UConns bracket, bleh, and would be in line to play them in the 2nd round.
  14. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: January 28, 2018 WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2EgexBk Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Huge Third Quarter Lifts No. 23 Bulls Past Temple TAMPA, JAN. 28, 2018 – The Bulls burst out of the locker room in the third quarter and scored 31 points to secure the sweep of Temple for the first time in three years. No. 23 USF defeated the Owls 76-60 at the Sun Dome Sunday. After a week hiatus, the Bulls jumped back into the win column and improved to 6-2 in the conference. USF (16-5) scored 31 points in the third quarter and shot 55 percent in the frame. Junior sharp-shooter Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) scored 11 of her 13 in the third quarter. Senior Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) scored a game-high 24 points and turned in a nearly perfect offensive outing. The forward finished 8-of-11 from the floor, 2-of-3 from behind the arc and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe. Jespersen also filled her stat line with six rebounds, two blocks and two assists. Jespersen reached double-figures in the first half for the third straight game, keeping the Bulls in striking distance of the Owls, who led 31-30 at the break. The Bulls outscored the Owls 46-29 in the final 20 minutes thanks to Laia Flores (Mataro, Spain), who dished out four of her seven assists in the second half and moved into second on the all-time career assists list with 430 helpers. Alyssa Rader (Thronton, Colo.) was dominant on the glass with 14 rebounds in her first start at the Dome while sophomore Tamara Henshaw (Palm Coast, Fla.) turned in her first double-double this season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Alba Prieto (Seville, Spain) provided a much needed spark off the bench and tallied eight points and five rebounds. Quotable Head coach Jose Fernandez's thoughts on the game: "I was pleased with how we came out of the locker room at half time and started the third quarter. We played a lot of guys in the first half but I thought we came out with good energy out of the locker room, scored in transition and shared the ball. That’s what we needed. We took care of the ball and did a great job rebounding.” Key Stats 36 – USF outscored its opponent in the paint for the fourth time in its last five outings. The Bulls turned in 36 points in the paint, largely in part to 19 offensive rebounds. The Bulls converted 19 points off second chance opportunities. 31 – USF’s 31 points in the third quarter was one point shy of its highest scoring third quarter this season. The Bulls turned in 32 against Southern. Prior to Sunday’s contest, USF averaged 18.6 points in the third quarter. Notable USF swept Temple for the first time since the 2014-15 season and the third time since the inception of The American. The Bulls improved to 8-1 at home this season. Kitija Laksa’s free throw streak ended at 42 and she missed her second free throw of the season. The junior’s season average moved to 96.3 (53-of-55). Kitija Laksa’s 13 points moved her to the No. 10 spot on the USF Career scoring list. She joins Aiya Shepard (’03) with 1,409 career points. Laia Flores secured second on the all-time career assists lists moving her career total to 430. She passed Renee Bellamy (’94). Shantia Grace (’09) sits atop the list with 610 career assists. Flores’ 128 assists this season is 10th in the single season records. The senior set the top mark of 200 last season. Maria Jespersen has turned in seven 20+ point performances this season, four in conference action. Up Next USF embarks on a two-game road swing, Jan. 31-Feb. 3. The Bulls will close out the month of January at Tulsa on Wednesday and wrap up the swing at Tulane, Saturday. USF returns to the Sun Dome for a three-game home stand which includes a top-25 showdown with No. 12/14 Ohio State Feb. 11.
  15. Ow. That hurt. Dammit. Ok so obviously that was USFs worst loss of the season for different reason. For the Women losing to a team that was 181st in RPI (now 154th) gives the Bulls the proverbial "bad loss" or, in other words, a reason to exclude if things start going south for the team. However I doubt this was nothing more than a blip. The Bulls were dead. Dead tired that is, this was their 5th game and 2nd road trip in a 2 week period. Not to mention that there 2 home games were against UConn and Arch-rival UCF. Comparatively the next 5 games occur over a period of 21 days with 3 games at home and one road trip. After the Bulls come back from that road trip they have only 2 of the final 7 on the road. However, if there was any doubt that the team hit the wall sometime in the middle of the 4th quarter you can look at the stats. 4 pts scored in the whole qtr, the first bucket came at 7:47 left in the qtr and the second and last bucket came with 58 seconds left. If anyone watched the game it was seriously cringe-worthy how obviously out of control that team was. That they held it together to have a lead in the 4th was nothing short of amazing. Every trip down the court looked like a disaster waiting to happen, sheer grit and willpower got them to that point and then...well then the tank was empty. The Bulls missed 20 from the field and a couples of free throws as well just for good measure, thats less than 10% for those counting. And the Shockers who played well enough, grinded away and took the lead at 5:12 and the Bulls had no answer. So they lost but are still well in the mix, projecting as a #7 seed playing St. Johns in the first round in Mississippi State's bracket. #1s project as UConn, Notre Dame, Miss St, and Oregon or Florida St who are creeping themselves into that mix of top seeds. The men, ah, what can we say. You saw the fight against UCF who is no pushover team themselves. But even with the loss of Tacko Fall, the Knights were able to take the win. Of course there will be no post-season for the Bulls, moral victories are all we can hope for at this point. The announcers were discussing how good of a job Gregory did pulling together a team he would be able to put on the court, only using 2 grad transfers to do so. OK, thats a win? I guess? Whatever. projected #1 seeds are all still from the ACC or BE, Duke, Villanova, UNC and Xavier. Next two up for discussion are both from the ACC, Virginia and Clemson. So unless you want to start talking Kansas, Auburn, Purdue or Rhode Island (lol, right, a non p5 team as a #1? oh the horror!) we still talking a potential all ACC sweep of #1s. How crazy would that be? Lotsa hoops left still for that to happen. But a fan can dream of crazy can't I?
  16. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: January 17, 2018 WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2DWh0kw Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Bulls Can't Hold Onto Late Lead in Loss at Wichita State By TOM ZEBOLD USF Senior Writer WICHITA, Kan., JAN. 21, 2018 – No. 23 USF led for more than 25 minutes before Wichita State closed the game on a 16-2 run to hand the Bulls a 64-56 loss at Charles Koch Arena on Sunday. USF (15-5, 5-2) saw its three-game winning streak come to an end after going 2-for-18 from the field in the decisive fourth quarter. Wichita State (9-12, 4-3) outscored the Bulls, 20-4, in the final period to secure its fourth straight win. Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) tied for the game high with 16 points and extended her consecutive made free throws streak to 42 with a 4-for-4 performance. Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) posted her second consecutive double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. The senior forward moved up to eighth place on USF's career rebounds list with 748, passing Jessica Dickson (746, 2003-07). Jespersen led the way early with 10 points that helped boost the Bulls to a 31-26 advantage in a back-and-forth first half that featured 10 lead changes. The Bulls went 10-for-12 from the free throw line in the half, shot 50 percent from the floor in the second quarter and scored 12 points off 10 Wichita State turnovers. USF's offense continued to heat up after the break, scoring 21 points in the third quarter on the way to a 52-44 lead by the end of the period. USF found itself in comeback mode, however, after Wichita State took the lead for the final time with 5:43 remaining. Alyssa Rader's layup with 58 seconds left ended USF's scoreless drought of nearly seven minutes and the Bulls went 1-for-12 from the field down the stretch. Quotable Head coach Jose Fernandez's thoughts on the game: "When you go on the road, you've got to make your free throws. You've got to take care of the ball and everybody is going to play hard and passionate against you. Nobody is going to lay down against a team like us. It's disappointing." Key Stats 49 – Wichita State outrebounded USF, 49-39, and scored 18 second-chance points. 16-2 – Wichita State closed the game on a 16-2 run over the final 7 minutes, 21 seconds. 4 – USF set a season low for scoring in a quarter with four points in the final period. Notable • USF fell to 0-2 in its all-time series with Wichita State. Sunday marked the first meeting between the programs since 1983. • The Bulls saw their four-game road winning streak come to an end. USF is now 5-2 on the road this season. • Sunday marked USF's first game in Kansas since winning the WNIT Championship in 2009. • Maria Jespersen registered her 10th double-double of the season and the 22nd of her career. • Laia Flores dished out two assists and needs six more to move into a tie for second place on USF's career list with Renee Bellamy (429, 1991-94). Up Next USF returns to the Sun Dome on Sunday, Jan. 28 to take on Temple at noon (TV: ESPNU). Reserve your seats at USFBullsTix.com.
  17. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: January 20, 2018 WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2mTgQC6 Women’s Basketball Takes First Trip to Wichita Matchup: No. 23 USF (15-4, 5-1 The American) at Wichita State (8-12, 3-3 The American) Date: Sunday, Jan. 21 Time: 4:00 p.m. ET Location: Wichita, Kan. | Charles Koch Arena Watch: CBS Sports Network Radio: AM 820 (Darek Sharp) Follow: Listen | Live Stats | Twitter TAMPA, JAN. 20, 2018 – The USF women’s basketball team looks to extend its three-game win streak Sunday in the program’s first trip to Wichita State. The Bulls are slated to tip-off against the Shockers at 4 p.m. ET on CBS Sports network. The Bulls (15-4, 4-1 The American) return to the state of Kansas for the first time since winning the WNIT Championship at Kansas in 2008. It’s been 10 years since USF’s stunning 75-71 road victory in Lawrence. USF will battle the Shockers for just the second time in program history. Wichita State joined the American Athletic Conference for the 2017-18 season. In their last three outings, the Bulls have run past the competition, outscoring league opponents by 17.3 points per game. Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) has shined in the Bulls’ three-game streak, averaging 21.3 points per game. Jespersen is fresh off a career night at Memphis Wednesday, when the senior turned in 31 points and 10 rebounds in her ninth double-double this season. USF is in sole possession of second place in league standings but will be put to the test against a strong Wichita State squad. The match-up will feature two of the most prolific scorers in the country. Junior sharp shooter Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) has a career scoring average of 17.1 points per game and she will go head to head with Shockers’ senior Rangie Bessard who also has a career point average of 17.1 points per game. Bessard ranks 13th in the NCAA active career leaders scoring list while Laksa follows at No. 14. THE OPPONENT Wichita State (8-12, 3-3 The American) has rallied back from an 0-3 start in The American and has won its last three games. The Shockers are 6-3 at home this season and are led by Bessard and Diamond Lockhart, who average 18.7 and 10.2 points per game respectively. Wichita State averages 65.2 points per game and have held their last three opponents to 61-points or less. The Bulls and Shockers will meet for the second time in program history. It will be the pair's first meeting since 1983. NOTABLES The Bulls are 5-1 on the road this season and haven't lost on the road since Dec. 9. USF has won four consecutive games on the road. Laia Flores leads the league in three different categories: assist-turnover ratio (3.72), assists (119) and assists per game (6.3). She ranks in the top 20 nationally in all three categories. Kitija Laksa has made 38-consecutive free throws through 13 games this season. The junior is almost perfect from the charity stripe, and leads the country with a .980 free throw percentage (48-of-39). Laksa’s only missed free throw was her first of four attempts against Notre Dame (Nov. 25). The Bulls have held opponents to 65-points or less 12 times this season and are a perfect 12-0 when limiting teams to 65-points or less. USF is currently receiving votes in the AP poll and is No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. The Bulls started the season ranked No. 23/22 and peaked at No. 16 (AP – week 4) and No. 16 (Coaches – weeks 3-4). USF has been ranked in the coaches’ poll every week and has received votes in every AP Poll. The program’s highest ranking in both polls was in 2016, when the Bulls were ranked No. 15 (AP – Jan. 18 | Coaches – Jan. 19). To stay up-to-date on the latest USF women’s basketball news, follow the Bulls on social media (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram).
  18. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: January 17, 2018 WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2rdGjLS Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Jespersen Steals Show as USF Shoots Past Memphis in Second Half By TOM ZEBOLD USF Senior Writer MEMPHIS, Tenn., JAN. 17, 2018 – Maria Jespersen poured in a career-high 31 points to help No. 23 USF put Memphis away in the second half of an 81-62 win on Wednesday night. USF (15-4, 5-1) trailed at the half but gained distance on Memphis (7-11, 2-3) down the stretch by shooting 71 percent from the field in the second half. USF scored a season-high 46 points in the paint and secured its first win at Elma Roane Fieldhouse since Jan. 31, 2015. Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) shined from start to finish in her 20th-career double-double, matching a career high with 11 made field goals while grabbing 10 rebounds in the Bulls' third straight victory. Laia Flores (Mataro, Spain) finished just shy of her career high with 18 points and dished out a game-high six assists. Laura Ferreira (Lisboa, Portugal) also stepped up with eight points and a game-high 13 rebounds to help the Bulls rule the boards by a 42-29 margin. Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) added 14 points while Alyssa Rader (Thornton, Colo.) produced in her first start as a Bull with eight points, nine rebounds and three blocks. USF led for nearly 18 of the game's first 20 minutes but headed into halftime trailing, 30-29, after Brea Elmore knocked down a buzzer-beating three-pointer. Jespersen grabbed sole possession of ninth on USF's career rebounds list with six boards in a first quarter that saw the senior boost the Bulls on the offensive end. Jespersen made five of USF's seven field goals and her 11 points powered the Bulls to a 15-7 lead. USF heated up after halftime, shooting 60 percent in the third quarter on the way to a five-point lead. The advantage reached double digits on a Rader layup with 8:35 remaining and the lead kept growing thanks to lockdown defense by the Bulls. Memphis went 5-for-15 from the field in the fourth quarter and committed seven turnovers in the second half. Quotable Head coach Jose Fernandez's thoughts on the victory: "We led in every statistical category at halftime and we're down 1. I like that we defended. We contained the dribble and we did a really good job on the glass." Fernandez on Maria Jespersen's show-stealing performance: "I thought she was assertive, she was ready to go. She spread the floor in transition and she created off the bounce, which was big." Key Stats 66 – USF shot nearly 66 percent from the field overall after making 71 percent of its shots in the second half. 46 – USF posted a season-high 46 points in the paint, its most since scoring 60 from close range against Saint Francis University on Dec. 14, 2016. 42 – The Bulls controlled the boards by a 42-29 margin. 4 – Wednesday marked the fourth straight road victory for the Bulls. Notable USF improved to 11-14 in its all-time series with Memphis. The Bulls have won nine of the past 11 meetings. The Bulls are now 5-1 on the road this season with four straight wins away from the Sun Dome. Wednesday marked only the sixth time the Bulls have scored 40-plus points in the paint in the past two years. Maria Jespersen moved up to ninth on USF's career rebounds list with 737 boards. Jespersen is now nine rebounds away from eighth place (Jessica Dickson, 746, 2003-07). Kitija Laksa needs 29 more points to move into the top 10 on USF's career list. The sharp-shooting junior now has 1,380 points and Aiya Shepard ranks 10th in school history with 1,409 points (1999-03). USF moved up to No. 23 in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll. USF has been ranked in the Coaches Poll every week this season and has received votes in every AP Top 25 poll. Up Next USF finishes up a two-game road trip at Wichita State on Sunday at 4 p.m. (TV: CBS Sports Network). The Bulls are back at the Sun Dome on Sunday, Jan. 28 to host Temple at noon (TV: ESPNU). Reserve your seats at USFBullsTix.com.
  19. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2EJxSda FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: Jan. 15, 2018 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Laksa Lands on Weekly Honor Roll USF sharp shooter, Kitija Laksa, Recognized by the American Athletic Conference TAMPA, JAN. 15, 2018 – USF’s leading scorer averaged over 20-points per game last week and led the Bulls to a 2-0 record. Junior Kitija Laksa turned in eight three-point field goals and landed on the American Athletic Conference weekly honor roll. Laksa (Riga, Latvia) averages 20.4 points per game this season and ranks third in the league in scoring. The guard averaged 22.5 points per game last week, and turned in 29 points at Temple and 16 points against UCF. Laksa led the Bulls in scoring in both games and netted four three-pointers in each contest. This season, Laksa has tallied 70 three-point field goals and is second in the country in three-point field goals made and fourth in the country with 3.89 three-point field goals per game. The guard has only missed one free throw the entire season and is an astounding 48-for-49 from the charity stripe. Laksa leads the country with a 97.959 free throw percentage. Laksa and the Bulls begin a two-game road swing Wednesday at Memphis. USF takes on the Tigers at 8 p.m. ET and fans can catch the game on ESPN3. To stay up-to-date on the latest USF women’s basketball news, follow the Bulls on social media (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram).
  20. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: January 14, 2018 WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2r4B9BV Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Bulls Take Game One in War on I-4 Series TAMPA, JAN. 14, 2018 – USF held the Knights to their second-lowest point total of the season, Sunday, as the women’s basketball team ran away with a 62-45 victory at the Sun Dome. The Bulls took sole possession of second place in the American Athletic Conference standings with the win. In a true team win, USF (14-4, 4-1 The American) had balanced scoring with three players in double figures, led by Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) with 16 points. Laia Flores (Mataro, Spain) and Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) added 14 and 13 respectively and each added seven rebounds. The Bulls had six players with at least five rebounds. The Bulls dominated the glass, outrebounding UCF (11-7, 3-2 The American) 48-30. The team’s 48 rebounds included 17 offensive rebounds. USF scored 18 points off of second chance opportunities. USF’s defense shined, holding UCF to single digits in both the first and second quarters and only held the Knights to a 34 percent field goal percentage on the day. Quotable USF head coach Jose Fernandez on the team’s defense: "Our players defended. We played really good team defense and held them to one shot and out. Second half wasn’t a very pretty basketball game either way, but again, we held them to 14 points in the third quarter.” “We wanted to defend the dribble, keep them in front of us and do a great job on the glass.” Key Stats 20 – The Bulls scored 20 points off turnovers. The Bulls’ eight steals were the second most this season. 17 – USF grabbed 17 offensive rebounds and held UCF to just six. Notable • The Bulls improved to 7-1 at the Sun Dome this season. • USF collected three points in the War on I-4 rivalry series. UCF leads the all-sports series 21-12. The Bulls will have a chance to sweep the women’s basketball series 6-0 at UCF Feb. 18 • Since 2014, USF has compiled a 45-9 record at home, including a 23-6 record in The American. Up Next USF begins a two-game road swing Jan. 17. The Bulls travel to Memphis Wednesday before taking their first trip to Wichita State Jan. 21. USF returns to the Sun Dome Jan. 28 when it hosts Temple at 12 p.m.
  21. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: January 5, 2018 WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2CJ79Rq Bulls Host No. 1 UConn in Top-25 Showdown Saturday Night MATCHUP: No. 1 UConn (12-0, 2-0) at No. 22 USF (12-3, 2-0) DATE/TIME: Saturday, Jan. 6/7 p.m. LOCATION: Sun Dome, Tampa WATCH: ESPN3, SNY LISTEN: 820-AM | Bulls Unlimited TWITTER UPDATES: @USFWBB LIVE STATS TICKETS: USFBullsTix.com By TOM ZEBOLD USF Senior Writer TAMPA, JAN. 5, 2018 – After building momentum during a 12-3 start, No. 22 USF has a chance to make monumental waves in the women's college basketball world this weekend. The Sun Dome is the place to be Saturday, when head coach Jose Fernandez's motivated Bulls take on top-ranked UConn (12-0, 2-0) at 7 p.m. Reserve your seats at USFBullsTix.com. "Without a doubt, it's going to be a great atmosphere for basketball, like it always is in this building," Fernandez said. Instantly poised for the postseason, USF has prepared itself well for this kind of tall task by continuously facing tough competition up to this point. The Bulls took down LSU at the Sun Dome in opening night and the schedule also has included tests against Butler, No. 2 Notre Dame, George Washington and Oklahoma before conference play began. "I think our kids have been challenged," Fernandez said. "We've put our kids in some pretty competitive situations to prepare ourselves for January and February. We still have (No. 10) Ohio State coming in here in the middle of February as a nonconference game." Like the Buckeyes and the rest of its perennial NCAA tournament opponents, USF is embracing an opportunity like Saturday. UConn has captured the national title in four of the last five years and has won its past 42 road games. Head coach Geno Auriemma's squad is 85-0 against American Athletic Conference opponents in regular season and tournament games. "As a coach, anytime that you're competing against a program like Connecticut, one of the best teams in the history of college basketball, and a legendary Hall of Fame coach like Geno, that's what drives you every day," Fernandez said. "You want to coach against the best players in the country and you want to compete against the best coaches in the country." Like Fernandez, USF's roster of talented players isn't shying away a chance to take down the Huskies. After replacing four starters last season, the Bulls now know what to expect. "We need to focus, we need to be all in," said sharp-shooting junior Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia). "Despite us playing UConn, the big name, the No. 1 team, we have to play our game. We can't focus as much on them. We have to play our own game and play really, really well." Expect a Packed House Purchase your tickets fast and head to campus early because Saturday should be much like the past four USF-UConn games in Tampa. Since 2014, the matchup has drawn an average of 6,190 fans at the Sun Dome after USF set a program attendance record of 6,634 when the Huskies visited in 2016. "I want this place to be packed. I want people to come out and see us play," Laksa said before practice at Sun Dome on Thursday. "I think it's going to be a great game. I hope the student section is great. I hope people from Tampa, from everywhere, our fans come out and really support us. I'm real excited about that." Familiar Foes UConn is no stranger to USF, which has faced off against the Huskies 23 times since the 2002-03 season. "It's unbelievable that we've come full circle now," Fernandez said. "We started that as a home-and-home, nonconference game and from Conference USA you go into the Big East and now we're in The American." Since USF has grown into a consistent top-25 program, the Bulls have taken on UConn three times in each of the past three seasons. "Where both programs are at, we expect to play them three times – twice during the year and again for the conference tournament championship," Fernandez said. "That's what we've done in the last three years." While battling UConn has become a tradition, Fernandez has built a close bond with Auriemma, who has won 11 national titles and 1,003 games with the Huskies since 1985. "I've been here 18 years and he's been an incredible friend and he's been very, very supportive of what we've been able to do here at South Florida," Fernandez said. "You look back and we've played each other a lot. You remember the conversations that you have on the road recruiting, at the Final Fours, at conventions, and at spring meetings." Bulls Bits USF has won two straight heading into Saturday after leaving Cincinnati with a 69-46 victory on Wednesday night. USF has started its run in The American at 2-0 for the fourth consecutive season. The last time out, senior forward Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) became the eighth player in program history to reach 1,000 career points and 700 rebounds. With 707 rebounds, Jespersen needs 23 more boards to pass Ezria Parsons (2003-05)) and move into ninth on USF's career list. Senior point guard Laia Flores (Mataro, Spain) has racked up 100 assists this season (11th-most nationally) and leads The American with 6.7 assists per game. Flores ranks second nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.17). Junior guard Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) ranks second in The American in scoring (21.5 ppg) and is second in the nation with 4.1 made three-pointers per outing. About USF Women's Basketball To stay up-to-date on the latest USF women's basketball news, follow the Bulls on social media (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram).
  22. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: January 3, 2018 WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2CNetbt Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Bulls Dispatch Cincinnati, Improve to 2-0 in The American CINCINNATI, OHIO, JAN. 3, 2018 – For the fourth straight season, the USF women’s basketball team opened the American Athletic Conference slate 2-0. The Bulls downed Cincinnati, 69-46, at Saint Ursula Academy in Ohio. Laura Ferreira (Lisboa, Portugal) had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls (12-3, 2-0 The American), who held its fourth team to less than 50 points this season. USF has not allowed more than 46 points against conference opponents. The Bulls utilized a 10-0 run in the first quarter and a 7-0 run in the second quarter to take a 29-18 halftime lead. Ferreira tallied eight points and six rebounds in the first 20 minutes. Maria Jespersen(Arhus, Denmark) grabbed two of her eight rebounds in the first half and the senior surpassed 700 career rebounds to become the eighth player in program history to reach 1,000 points and 700 rebounds. Jespersen finished with 25 points, netting 15 in the second half. The Bulls fended off a late third quarter rally by the Bearcats (9-6, 1-1 The American) and took their largest lead of the game at 23 points in the fourth quarter. Kitija Laksa (Riga, Latvia) turned in 12 points, six rebounds and five assists while Laia Flores(Mataro, Spain) added seven points, five rebounds and four assists. Flores shot 50 percent from the floor (3-for-6). Key Stats 21– The Bulls forced 15 turnovers and scored 21 points off Cincinnati miscues. Notables The Bulls improved to 55-17 all-time in The American. Maria Jespersen’s eight rebounds moved her to 707 career rebounds, which rank 10th in the all-time career rebounds list. The senior only needs 23 rebounds to pass Ezira Parsons (’06) and move into ninth on the career list. Laura Ferreira’s double-double was her fourth this season and the sixth of her career. Jespersen has scored 25 points three other times this season. The senior’s career high is 26 points, which she reached on four difference occasions last season. The Bulls held a team to less than 50 points in back-to-back games for the first time since defeating East Carolina and Memphis last season. 79-48, East Carolina, Jan. 14, 2017 79-49, Memphis, Jan. 17, 2017 Up Next USF welcomes No. 1 UConn to the Sun Dome Saturday. The top-25 showdown is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip and will air on ESPN3 and SNY
  23. So since its more fun to play this guessing game when your team might be in it, I'm starting with the women. USF's RPI took a major blow this week which will happen when you lose to a team that, IMO, we should have beaten handily, and then follow that up with wins against two teams with the worst RPIs on the schedule (Southern-272(RPI), FIU-331(RPI)) Both of those team improved their RPI just for playing USF even though they both got blown out which does give one an indication of the strength USF has. However things are about to get much more difficult. Next up: Tourney in New Orleans vs Dayton(72RPI) and Michigan St(52RPI) and then conference play starts. So put on your seat belts. If USF can avoid dropping anymore to the Oklahomas of the world they could have over 20 wins rolling into the national spotlight game with Ohio State although there is this little team from the Northeast the Bulls have to go through first. Current Projections (if the season ended today) USF - High 11th seed NCAA, facing Stanford in the first round of UConns Bracket #1s UConn, Notre Dame, MissSt, Villanova (Green Bay is hoping for some slip ups) AAC Teams UConn(1seed), Houston(7), UCF(10, huge win last night in California against previously undefeated UC Davis) and USF(11) On the men's side, well those guys do try hard, there is no give up, and although theres a nice mix of upper and lower classmen, this team just doesn't have the talent to do anything. On the plus side they broke a 4game skid by beating BCC, the down side of that is there are only 14 teams with a lower RPI than BCC, so while USF did put some distance between the rock bottom of the college basketball landscape, IMO, until you get out of the 300s you are within inches of touching bottom. USFs RPI is 318th and looking forward into conference play, we look to the games against ECU because at 332 they may be the only conference wins we have a shot at. Next up Northern Arizona (268RPI) and Charlotte (333RPI) both at home so who know maybe they will be above .500 going into conference play. Current Projections (if the season ended today) USF - None #1s Duke, Mich St, Ari St, Villanova (One could argue that UNC is a #1 but as a projected non-champ we'll leave them out for now) AAC Teams Temple(3), Wichita St(6), Cincinnati(11), UCF(12) As always, Go Bulls!
  24. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: December 17, 2017 WEB LINK: http://bit.ly/2CulVa2 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Bulls Overpower FIU in 30-point Win FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA., DEC. 17, 2017 – The Bulls offense didn’t skip a beat Sunday with an 82-52 rout of FIU at Rick Case Arena on the campus of Nova Southeastern. Laia Flores powered the Bulls with a 19-point, seven assist performance. Flores (Mataro, Spain) scored 15 of her 19 points in the second half, and shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor in the final 20 minutes. USF (9-2) had four players score in double-figures. Maria Jespersen (Arhus, Denmark) and Laura Ferreira (Lisboa, Portugal) each added 16 points while Alyssa Rader (Thornton, Colo.) contributed 11 points and four rebounds. Jespersen tallied her sixth double-double outing this season with a game-high 10 rebounds while Ferreira filled her stat line with six rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two steals. The Bulls never trailed but solidified their 30-point victory in the fourth quarter. USF outscored FIU (2-8) 21-9 in the fourth quarter and didn’t allow a field goal until 5:39 remained in the contest. The Bulls defense forced 16 turnovers and scored 22 points off of Panthers’ miscues. QUOTABLES: Head coach Jose Fernandez on the difference in the game: “I thought we came out of the gate well. At halftime, we put more emphasis on the rebounding and we did a much better job on the second half on the glass. We didn’t allow any second chance points in the last two periods.” Key Stats 100 – The Bulls finished a perfect 15-for-15 from the charity stripe. 36 – The number of points USF scored in the paint. The Bulls outscored the Panthers 36-22. Notables • The Bulls improved to 13-7 in the all-time series record against FIU. • Laia Flores turned in another turnover free outing, her fourth of the season. Entering Sunday’s contest, Flores ranked third in the country with an assist to turnover ratio of 4.27. • Flores has had at least seven assists in six of the Bulls’ 11 games. • USF improved to 2-1 on the road this season. • This is the first time USF was perfect from the free throw line since Nov. 30, 2016, also against FIU. The Bulls went 1-for-1 from the charity stripe. Up Next The Bulls remain on the road and will travel from Miami to New Orleans for the 2017 New Orleans Shootout. USF will play Dayton Dec. 20 at 8:30 p.m. EST and Michigan State Dec. 21 at 8:30 p.m. EST.