TAMPA – The Bulls heated up in the second half to secure a long-awaited win at Providence on Sunday afternoon.
The USF women’s basketball team led by five at halftime and scored 54 points after the break to post an 82-54 blowout victory a day after the teams were supposed to play in Rhode Island. The blizzard that blasted the Northeast first pushed the game back to Saturday night before cleanup from Winter Storm Nemo delayed the action until 1 p.m. Sunday.
“I told them, ‘You’re a very good basketball team. The layoff doesn’t matter,’” USF head coach Jose Fernandez said.
USF (16-6, 5-4) got a game-high 21 points from Inga Orekhova, while freshman forward Alisia Jenkins posted another double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman guard Courtney Williams scored all of her 15 points in the second half, Andrea Smith added 13 points and Akila McDonald posted a career-high 11 rebounds to help the Bulls win for the fourth time in their past five games.
Fernandez said the Bulls did a bit of “sleep walking” while grabbing a 28-23 lead by halftime. USF responded in a big way, shooting 61 percent in the second half and finishing with 40 points in the paint and 37 fast-break points.
“The second half was a different story,” said Fernandez, who earned win No. 205 with the Bulls.
The blizzard caused the Big East to change plans for USF’s next game as well. The Bulls’ home game against St. John’s that was originally scheduled for Tuesday will now be played 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Sun Dome. USF won’t be back in Tampa until Monday, so Fernandez was very appreciative of the schedule change.
“It’s nice that we’ll get a couple of days to prepare,” he said.
Wedneday’s game will be televised on CBS Sportsnetwork.