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USF Women’s Basketball Practice Report

The Bulls come home to face Southern after a frustrating loss at Oklahoma Saturday night.

NCAA Womens Basketball: AAC Conference Tournament-USF vs Temple David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a disappointing loss (in more ways than one) 79-74 to the Oklahoma Sooners, USF women’s basketball head coach Jose Fernandez made sure his team knew that the way they played cannot continue.

The intensity level of today’s practice was the highest it has been all season, and senior forward Maria Jespersen acknowledged as much.

“I definitely think we needed a practice like this,” Jespersen said. “We probably needed it some weeks ago as well.”

The team spent nearly 20 minutes working on closing out on three-point shooters during the portion of practice open to the media, making sure they contested every shot while still being able to move their feet defensively.

Oklahoma shot 42% from behind the arc Saturday, and George Washington was nearly 60% from downtown in the Bulls’ last game before finals week. USF had allowed over 70 points in just one game this year (76 to Notre Dame), but conceded 78 to George Washington and 79 to the Sooners.

“The last two games have been a little uncharacteristic of us,” Fernandez said. “We had [13] fouls against GW and 24 fouls against Oklahoma. That’s not us.”

Where is Alyssa Rader?

Sophomore post player Alyssa Rader was supposed to be able to play in Saturday’s game against Oklahoma after sitting out the fall semester to satisfy the NCAA transfer rules after coming over from Northern Arizona but... something happened.

“The first allowable game you’re allowed to play in is the day right after final exams. So that didn’t happen for us,” Fernandez said.

The game at Oklahoma was always the target date for Rader to make her USF debut, but somewhere along line her final grades hadn’t been posted and entered at the registrar's office, making her unable to suit up for the Bulls.

“We (USF) just have a different way of doing things than other institutions. That’s all I can say,” Fernandez said.

The transfer was the Big Sky Conference’s Outstanding Freshman after averaging 14.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, two assists and one block per game. Rader would have been a huge boost for the Bulls Saturday after Tamara Henshaw fouled out with under three minutes left in the fourth quarter, but alas. #USFing is alive and well.

Fernandez was visibly upset discussing this latest folly from the university. He hopes Rader will be able to play Friday versus Southern.

Transfer SZN:

Bond averaged just under seven minutes a game last season, but hadn’t seen much action this year. The best of luck to her wherever she lands.