After falling to Kentucky 85-63 on Thursday and North Carolina 71-69 on Friday, the No. 17 USF women’s basketball team salvaged a tough Power-Five weekend slate at the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise with a 60-56 victory over UCLA on Saturday.
Big reason why we scheduled this way. Our Expectations for our program.We will continue to prepare and execute together as a staff and team. Couldn’t be prouder of our guys and locker room. Great energy and enthusiasm and a focus to to get it done for the next 40 minutes. Onward!— Jose Fernandez (@CoachJFernandez) November 24, 2018
In the tournament opener on Thanksgiving Day, freshman Sydni Harvey finished with 16 points and knocked down four three-balls but the Wildcats full court pressure forced the Bulls into 20 turnovers.
Senior Laura Ferreira was ice cold, shooting 2-of-13 from the floor and 0-of-6 from long range.
Kentucky outscored USF 24-8 in the second quarter to make it a 44-28 halftime deficit and the Bulls couldn’t recover.
Friday, the Bulls trailed the Tar Heels 35-31 at halftime before storming back with a 14-4 run to open the third quarter.
Three Bulls scored in double figures for the sixth consecutive game, including Harvey with 17 points and fellow freshman Beatriz Jordao with 18 points but after falling behind by 12 in the final quarter, USF couldn’t complete the comeback.
Saturday afternoon, the Bulls put together their most impressive performance of the weekend, knocking off UCLA, an Elite Eight NCAA Tournament team from last season.
Harvey was at it again, scoring a career-high 19 points and grabbing three rebounds to earn Island Division Tournament All-Star Team honors.
BIG tournament for @SydniHarvey3!— USF W. Basketball (@USFWBB) November 24, 2018
Freshman Sydni Harvey set or tied a career-high in each of USF's #ParadiseJam games, ending with a career-high 19 points against UCLA and scored 52 points in the tournament.
#HornsUp, Syd. pic.twitter.com/zledv97C8s
Ferreira added 14 points and five rebounds, while Alyssa Rader knocked down two crucial three-pointers in the second half.
The Bulls (5-2) open up a four-game homestand on Friday night, hosting New Hampshire at the Yuengling Center.