Led by three starters each playing 40 minutes, #23 USF women’s basketball picked up their biggest win of the season with a 55-51 victory over the Temple Owls yesterday at McGonigle Hall in Philadelphia.
Temple entered the contest ranked #25 in the RPI and was receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today Coaches polls. With the win USF takes the tiebreaker lead for second place in the American Conference, but can relinquish it later as the teams will meet again in Tampa on Feb. 19th.
The Bulls (17-3, 6-1 AAC) have struggled on the glass so far this season, but outrebounded the Owls 47-36 while also blocking six shots. Freshman Tamara Henshaw had the game’s only double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in just 28 minutes of action.
Sophomore Kitija Laksa led the visitors with 16 points, and was 3-6 from three-point range. Junior point guard Laia Flores was just 1-5 from the field, but led all players with nine assists, and had just one turnover despite never leaving the floor. Not all was perfect for the Bulls offensively, who had 20 turnovers on 81 possessions.
Feyonda Fitzgerald led the Owls (16-4, 6-1 AAC) with 14 points, but was just 3-20 on field goal attempts. Temple as a team was 16-62 (25.8%) shooting.
Since the 2014-15 season, USF is 35-3 in American Conference play against all teams that are not four-time defending national champion Connecticut.
The Bulls are back in action Wednesday night against Cincinnati at the Sun Dome. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m.