Five Bulls finished in double figures, including three with 20-plus points as the USF women’s basketball team blew out Vermont 102-55 for a fifth straight victory on Monday night at the Yuengling Center to improve to 9-2 on the season.
“We got off to a really good start tonight...we almost played as perfect a first half as you can play,” head coach Jose Fernandez said. “We shared the ball, played unselfish and made the extra pass.”
Fueled by junior Alyssa Rader, the Bulls ended the first quarter on a 25-2 run to take a commanding 28-7 lead. It was the most points USF has scored in the opening frame all season.
Rader finished with a season-high 21 points, hauled in four rebounds and was an impressive 3-for-5 from behind the arc.
On the heels of toasty three-point shooting, USF grabbed a 49-26 halftime lead and more impressively, did not commit a single foul in the first half.
“We only had three turnovers, we had zero fouls and we did a great job on the glass,” Fernandez said of the opening half.
Leading 73-42, freshman Sydni Harvey, named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll on Monday afternoon, drained another three to end the third quarter.
Harvey finished with a career-high 20 points, dished off six assists, grabbed two rebounds and was 2-for-3 from distance. She has finished in double figures in nine of USF’s 11 games this season.
“It’s my teammates,” Harvey said. “It’s great, they pass me the ball and I try to read the defense.”
As a team, the Bulls shot 57% (38-for-67) from the floor and 60% (12-for-20) from three-point range en route to finishing off a perfect non-conference home slate.
Senior Laura Ferreira joined the 20-plus point effort, registering 22 points, six boards and drilling four three-balls.
“One of the things great programs do is take pride in defending your home floor,” Fernandez added. “These guys do a good job of doing that.”
USF will hit the road for contests against Creighton on Thursday and Virginia on Friday in the Florida Sunshine Classic in Orlando.