Fresh off a 71-47 curb-stomping of Ohio State on Tuesday, the No. 22 USF women’s basketball team began the 2018-19 home slate with a convincing 74-37 win over the Albany Great Danes at the Yuengling Center on Friday night.
“I was a little concerned to see how we would come out after we went harder (in practice) than we normally do the the day before a game,” head coach Jose Fernandez said. “There might not be enough basketballs to go around on this team.”
The Bulls (2-0) jumped out to a 15-4 lead at the first media timeout on the heels of a Kitija Laksa three ball.
The senior sharpshooter struggled for the majority of the game however, shooting 4-of-14 from the floor and just 2-of-6 from behind the arc for 13 points.
Fellow senior Laura Ferreira led the charge, leading all scorers with 21 points, shooting 2-of-4 from three, tallying four assists and hauling in six rebounds.
“Tonight I just tried to be more aggressive from the beginning,” Ferreira said. “It’s all a team effort... I can only make the shots because my teammates pass it to me.”
After holding Ohio State to its lowest points total since 2014 on Tuesday, the USF defense was strong again in allowing Albany to shoot just 29% in the first half and 24% (14-of-58) for the game.
“We’re keeping people in front of us,” Fernandez added about his team allowing only 15 points in the second half. “We’ve always done a good job of not fouling... today we were sound in the way we defended.”
The Bulls finished with a 52-29 rebounding advantage and junior Alyssa Rader pulled down 12 of them for a second consecutive game.
“We have so many strong skills on this team,” Rader said. “You just have to know your role, and this year my biggest role is being a rebounder.”
USF will continue its three-game homestand on Thursday, November 15 against Bethune-Cookman at 7 p.m. before hosting Oklahoma in a big non-conference tilt on Sunday, November 18 at 2 p.m.