On a night where the South Florida Bulls women’s basketball team should be celebrating doubling up Bethune-Cookman University 88-39, a dark cloud hangs over the program after sharpshooting senior guard Kitija Laksa went down with a right leg injury late in the third quarter inside the Yuengling Center.
With the Bulls already up by more than Bethune scored all night, Laksa crumbled to the floor in heap in what appeared to be a non-contact injury. She was carried off the floor by trainers and did not put any weight on it as she got up off the floor.
Laksa was already having a strange night as it was. She scored her usual 19 points, but MISSED both of her free throws and was just 3-of-9 from behind the arc. Head coach Jose Fernandez hopes to have a better idea of the extent of the injury tomorrow, but he did say they’ll have to change how the offense flows after the game.
“In the halfcourt, we’re probably going to have to change some things, depending on what type of news we find out,” Fernandez said.
In less depressing news, post players Beatriz Jordao, Alyssa Rader, Tamara Henshaw, and Shae Leverette combined for 35 points, 36 rebounds, and seven blocks to help the Bulls thoroughly dominate B-CU inside all night. USF grabbed 19 offense rebounds that led to 21 second-chance points.
The Bulls went into halftime up 40-20 and out-scored B-CU 28-10 in the third quarter to blow the game wide open. USF held the Wildcats to just 24% shooting on the night and allowed just one made three which was the opening basket of the night for B-CU. They went 0-for-16 the rest of the game.
Senior wing Laura Ferreira tied Laksa’s game-high with 19 points. She’s scored 40 points over the last two games.
Jordao continues to shine for the Bulls. She is the best post player USF has had in recent years. With her back to the basket, she can finish at the rim with either hand, has excellent footwork to get around defenders, and she plays awesome defense on the other end. She’s only a freshman.
If Laksa is out an extended period of time, expect Fernandez to feed her the ball in the post early and often. Jordao made the Wildcat post players look like a bunch of #SmallBodies.
The Bulls face Oklahoma on Sunday at 2 p.m. inside the Yuengling Center before heading to the US Virgin Islands to face Kentucky, North Carolina, and UCLA in the Paradise Jam.