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No. 20/19 USF Runs Past Oklahoma State


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DATE: DEC. 20, 2015


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No. 20/19 USF Runs Past Oklahoma State

TAMPA, DEC. 20, 2015 No. 20/19 USF got a ninth straight 15-plus point performance from senior Courtney Williams and 14 rebounds from senior forward Alisia Jenkins to run past previously undefeated Oklahoma State Sunday afternoon at the Sun Dome Arena. The Cowgirls (8-1) couldn’t keep pace with the depth of the Bulls (7-2) early and USF outscored them by eight points in the first quarter, leading to a 10-point halftime lead that would only grow in the final two quarters. 

“It was a good win heading into the holiday break,” said head coach Jose Fernandez. “We shared the ball really well, 19 assists on 28 field goals. The pace favored us, but when got out in transition and we ran, that was important.”

Williams got the offense going early scoring the Bulls first six points and to open a quick 6-0 lead. From there, the Bulls defense took over, holding the Cowgirls to just eight points in the first quarter, the fewest points allowed by the Bulls in a quarter this season. 

“I think our kids really got down and really defended and provided good help. I think the last two games, that’s how we defended and found success last year. Our kids understand that for us to get to where we need to, we have to buckle down on that end of the court.” 

Oklahoma State kept the Bulls within striking distance throughout the fist two periods, but USF stayed on track, dropping 5-of-8 three-pointers in the final 20 minutes, shooting 63% from behind the arc. Laura Ferreira got things going in the third quarter with a jump shot from the elbow. Williams and Laia Flores followed with back-to-back three-pointers to give the Bulls a 14-point lead with 8:31 to play in the third period. USF never trailed and led by at least 10 the rest of the contest.

Williams led the Bulls with 16 points, grabbed seven rebounds and added three assists and two steals. Jenkins dominated the glass and matched her season average with a game-high 14 rebounds. The Georgia native added eight points and a career high five assists.  Ferreira finished with 14 points, tying her season high, which she also reached at No. 5/4 Baylor.  Freshman Kitija Laksa turned in her third consecutive double-digit performance with 12 points, and went 2-for-3 from behind the arc.

The Bulls uncharacteristically lost the rebounding battle 40-39, but held the Cowgirls below their season average of 49.1 rebounds per game, which ranks fourth in Division I.  Oklahoma State is outrebounding opponents by 16.8 rebounds per game, which ranks sixth nationally.

USF will go on hiatus during the holiday break, but return to action in its final nonconference match-up before league play. The Bulls will face No. 9/9 Mississippi State in the SEC/AAC Challenge Dec. 30 at 4:30 p.m. The game will air on the SEC Network and be available on the WatchESPN app.



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