Four Bulls finished in double figures as the injury-depleted USF women’s basketball team opened American Athletic Conference play by knocking off Temple 63-53 in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon.
Freshman Sydni Harvey, after scoring just two points in USF’s blowout defeat to LSU, opened the game with a quick three-ball and finished with a team-high 19 points, adding six rebounds and three assists.
After leading the entire first half, the Bulls (10-5, 1-0 AAC) pushed their lead to 35-24 early in the third quarter on the heels of an 18-6 offensive rebound advantage.
When the Owls trimmed the lead to only four points in the fourth quarter, senior Laura Ferreira rattled off four straight points and redshirt sophomore Enna Pehadzic dropped in her only three-pointer of the day to seal the USF victory.
Ferreira finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals while Pehadzic added a career-high 13 rebounds and three steals.
As a team, the Bulls shot 32% (23-for-70) from the floor and an ugly 16% (3-for-18) from three-point range.
Redshirt sophomore Shae Leverett posted her second double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 boards, adding a highlight-reel minute of play in the fourth quarter when she blocked a Temple shot, grabbed an offensive rebound and put the ball back in.
Alyssa Rader joined the double-figure scoring effort, totaling 10 points, seven rebounds, one steal and one block.
USF returns home to the Yuengling Center for an important War on I-4 showdown with Central Florida (12-2) on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.