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USF Women Beat Temple 64-51, Extend Hot Start To Conference Play

Photo by Jason Roberts,
Photo by Jason Roberts,

The Bulls improved to 3-1 in Conference play after winning tonight 64-51 in the Sun Dome against the Temple Owls. This marks the first time this season USF won without having to score 71+ points (they are now 7-0 when scoring 71+ and 1-7 when scoring 70 or fewer).

USF (8-7, 3-1 Conference) entered the game having started out strong in AAC play, winning two in a row over Houston and SMU in impressive fashion (combined winning margin of 37 points) after dropping the opener at home against Rutgers.

Both teams finished with the game shooting exactly the same at 20-55 (36.4%) and committed the same number of turnovers (17). USF only had a slight advantage from three-point (shooting 4-10 to Temple's 3-12). The difference in this one came down to rebounding and free throws. The Bulls outrebounded the Owls 47-36 and got to the line 14 more times (20-31 and 8-14, respectively).

Sophomore forward Alisia Jenkins was huge for the Bulls, with 18 points and 12 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season (second in the last three games). Jenkins also leads the Conference in rebounding (averaging 11 a game), an impressive feat for being only 6'0". Senior guard Inga Orekhova was the only other Bull to register double digits in points with 10. Orekhova didn't have the best night shooting (just 2-8), but went 4-4 from the line.

Senior center Akila McDonald went down late with an apparent ankle injury and had to be helped off the court. No word yet on how serious the injury is, but the off-day tomorrow will surely help. McDonald had a big night on the boards though, with 10 rebounds. The Bulls are now 15-2 all-time when McDonald gets 8+ rebounds.

Temple (8-6, 2-2 Conference) had three players finish scoring in double digits. Freshman guard Feyonda Fitzgerald led them with 17 points. Senior forward Natasha Thames earned a double-double for the Owls with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Also in double digits was graduate student (was awarded a fifth year of eligibility after transferring from George Washington this year to work on her masters) Shi-Heria Shipp with 10 points.

Next up for the Bulls is the #5 Louisville Cardinals at 3 pm this Sunday at the Sun Dome. It should be a good one as USF usually plays Louisville close (only lost by 3 at home last year, beat them on the road by 11 before the Cardinals went on to lose the National Championship to UConn). The game will be broadcasted on ESPNU.