TAMPA – Andrell Smith posted a career-high 27 points and 12 steals, but USF’s usually tough defense couldn’t stop Creighton in a 91-74 loss Saturday at the Caribbean Classic in Cancun.
USF (9-2) came into its Classic finale giving up just 50.8 points per game and watched Creighton (8-2) shoot 55.9 percent and go 16-for-29 from 3-point range. Sarah Nelson led the way with 29 points after going 12-for-14 from the field and making all four of her attempts from long range.
“They shot a huge number and we got beat by a very good team,” USF head coach Jose Fernandez said.
The loss spoiled a huge night for Smith and the other members of the Bulls’ Big Three. Andrea Smith scored 22 points and Inga Orekhova added 12 more a day after USF started its Classic run off with a 71-46 victory over Nevada.
“We have to move forward, get through Christmas and get ready for Florida A&M and Detroit Mercy,” Fernandez said.
USF hosts the Rattlers at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29 before Detroit Mercy visits the Sun Dome at 2 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31. The Bulls’ Big East home opener is Tuesday, Jan. 8 against Notre Dame at 7 p.m.