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USF Women’s Basketball Cruises Past Cincinnati 69-46

The Bulls knocked off the Bearcats for the 10th consecutive time and improved to 2-0 in conference play.


The USF women’s basketball team improved to 2-0 to begin American Athletic Conference play for the fourth consecutive season with a 69-46 win over Cincinnati on Wednesday night at Saint Ursula Academy.

Senior forward Maria Jespersen led all scorers with 25 points and was 4-of-9 from three-point range. She added eight rebounds and three assists making her the 8th player in program history to reach 1,000 points and 700 rebounds.

Jespersen was recognized on the American Athletic Conference weekly honor roll on Tuesday following her eighth double-double of the season against Tulane on Sunday afternoon. Her eight double-doubles ranks 12th in the country and her 145 rebounds this season rank in the top-30 nationally.

Back-to-back threes from Jespersen early in the game helped lift the Bulls to an 8-0 run and a 14-9 lead at the end of one quarter.

The Bulls defense held the Bearacats scoreless for several minutes in the second quarter while senior wing Laura Ferreira helped pace USF to a 29-18 halftime lead. It’s the fourth time this season the Bulls have held their opponent to less than 50 points.

Ferreira played the entire game and finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season.

The Bulls shot nearly 50% in the third quarter to build a substantial lead and hand the Bearcats (9-6) their worst loss of the season.

Junior guard Kitija Laksa had a quiet night by her standards, scoring 12 points, shooting just 1-of-6 from distance and grabbing six rebounds.

Senior point guard Laia Flores added seven points, five rebounds and four assists. Flores shot 50 percent (3-of-6) from the floor.

As a team, USF shot 46% from the floor and 33% (7-of-21) from three-point range in the game.

Freshman Vanessa Blagmon and Alba Prieto both saw some action, each sinking one basket and grabbing a rebound.

USF improves to 12-3 overall and 3-1 on the road this season with the victory. The Bulls will return home this Saturday for the annual showdown with the top-ranked UConn Huskies. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. from the Sun Dome.