USF women’s basketball found a way to win Saturday afternoon 63-53 at Tulane despite shooting 30% from the field.
Senior forward Maria Jespersen put the team on her back, scoring 21 points—her third-straight 20 point game—and grabbing 13 rebounds. She leads the team with 12 double-doubles and has four in the last five games.
The Bulls trailed the Green Wave for nearly the entire first half before a 6-0 run helped give USF a 33-27 lead at the break.
USF couldn’t hit the ocean if they were on a boat the entire game. They were 4-of-26 from three, that’s 15.4% for those keeping score at home.
So how on earth did they manage to win? Free throws and rebounds. The Bulls made a season high 25 free throws, led by Jespersen’s 14 and junior guard Kitija Laksa hit all ten of hers, of course.
They grabbed 51 rebounds, 20 of them on the offensive glass. The 20 offensive rebounds were more than Tulane’s rebound total for the game.
Shae Leverett and Alyssa Rader grabbed seven rebounds in 13 minutes each.
Laksa had another bad day shooting, going 1-of-14 from the field and 0-of-8 from three. She is shooting 30.6% from the field and 26.3% behind the arc in conference play.
If USF wants to get to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament, the junior from Latvia will need to find her shooting stroke again.
The Bulls play ECU on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. at the Sun Dome.