USF cruises to a 20-point victory over American Athletic Conference rival Cincinnati.
by Brian Hattab
TAMPA – No. 20 USF (18-3, 7-1 The American), behind the eighth double-double of the season for forward Maria Jespersen, extended their win streak to three Wednesday night with a 72-52 win over Cincinnati (14-8, 5-4 The American) at the Sun Dome. Jespersen lead all players in both points and rebounds, with 26 and 12 respectively.
“It was fun,” Jespersen said. “Especially in the end, where I felt like that every time I shot it, it had a good chance of going in. It doesn’t happen every night, so I just enjoyed it.”
“Every night with this team, it’s something different,” said USF head coach Jose Fernandez. “We win a different way.”
Ariadna Pujol and Kitija Laksa would also finish in double digits, finishing the game with 14 and 11 respectively. Despite reaching double digits, Laksa’s night was largely forgettable as she made only four of 18 attempted field goals.
“Kit [Laksa] draws so much attention from the other teams,” Jespersen said. “It opens the floor up and opens possibilities for me and Ari [Pujol]. So even though Kit’s stat sheet doesn’t show her best game, she’s a big part of other people having a good night.”
On the other side of the floor, only one Cincinnati scorer would reach double figures. Ana Owens lead the Bearcats with 11 points, though she did not reach double figures until very late in the fourth quarter. Cincinnati as a team only shot 33% from the field.
The 20th ranked Bulls now take the road for two games against Memphis and East Carolina.
“This is the part of the season that, when I looked at the schedule, would define where we would be,” Fernandez said. “The Louisville game and then a five-game stretch with four of them on the road.”
USF returns to the Sun Dome on Sunday February 12th for a 12 noon game against Tulane.