Down to just eight healthy players, the injury-depleted USF women’s basketball team hung around with the third-ranked UConn Huskies before falling 63-46 at the Gampel Pavilion in Storrs on Sunday afternoon.
Already playing without Kitija Laksa, Laura Ferreira, Beatirz Jordao and Silvia Serrat, news broke just before tip that junior Alyssa Rader would also miss the game with what the ESPN broadcast described as “concussion symptoms”.
Despite the unfortunate circumstances, the Bulls (10-7, 1-2 AAC) jumped out to a surprising 14-6 lead, forcing Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma to pull his starters.
Trailing only 26-20 at halftime, short-handed USF outrebounded UConn by an impressive 42-26 margin, including a 17-8 advantage on the offensive side. Of the three times this season the Huskies have been outrebounded, none were by more than six.
Redshirt sophomore Enna Pehadzic led all Bulls, knocking down four three-balls and registering a second straight double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
As a team, USF shot 34% (18-for-53) from the floor and 33% (5-for-15) from three-point range.
Junior Tamara Henshaw played a season-high 38 minutes, adding 12 points and 10 boards.
USF returns home to the Yuengling Center on Saturday at 1 p.m. to continue conference play against Tulane.