In a season-opening double feature inside the Yuengling Center, the South Florida Bulls men’s and women’s basketball teams kicked off their season in a quest for a AAC title for one team, and double digit wins for another.
Women’s Basketball Wins 87-40
Florida State transfer wing Sammie Puisis started her USF career by pouring in a career-high 20 points for head coach Jose Fernandez’s revamped squad.
“We don’t rebuild, we reload,” Fernandez once told The Daily Stampede.
The Bulls built an early 16-6 lead after the first quarter, and then further put the clamps on MSU in the second quarter as the USF lead ballooned to 40-8 before the break.
Preseason AAC Player of the Year Elena Tsineke scored 15 points, and knocked down a couple of 3-pointers to help the Bulls pad the early lead. Returning starter Dulcy Fankam Mendijadeu recorded her first double-double of the season with 12 points, and ten rebounds. It’s her eighth double-double as a Bull.
True freshman Carla Brito earned the start for the Bulls and chipped in 14 points herself.
Overall, the Bulls shot 58% from the floor on the night while holding Morehead State to under 30% from the field.
The Bulls host FAMU on Friday at 6 p.m.
Year five of the Brian Gregory experience held more of the same as the Bulls struggled to score points, were awful from three, and played competent defense in spurts as they lose 64-61 versus the Southeast Missouri State RedHawks.
Memphis transfer Tyler Harris scored nine points in his USF debut, but struggled from three as he finished 0-for-8 from deep. South Carolina transfer Keyshawn Bryant was as advertised for the Bulls and led the team in scoring with 19 points and added five rebounds.
SEMO came into the season ranked 310th in KenPom ratings. It’s yet another inauspicious start under Gregory.
With the firing of football head coach Jeff Scott on Sunday, the spotlight is on Gregory after an 8 win campaign last season. It’s not off to a blazing start.
USF travels to Auburn on Friday to take on the No. 15 Tigers at 8 p.m. on SEC Network+.