On Saturday, USF began its two game road trip with a 52-49 loss to the Villanova Wildcats (15-2, 4-0), winners of five straight games. In those five games, Villanova’s defense held opponents to only 45.8 points per game.
The Bulls (12-5, 1-3), who normally average 74 points per game, were held under 50 points for the first time this season.
The first half ended with both teams shooting just 26.5% (USF) and 29.6% (Villanova) from the floor. Andrell Smith had 16 points and four rebounds for the Bulls at halftime. She would finish with 20 points and nine boards.
USF had no answer for Villanova’s Laura Sweeney on the boards in the first half. She had 10 of the Wildcats’ 22 first-half rebounds.
The Bulls entered halftime with a 23-22 lead.
Both teams kept the game close to begin the second half, but USF managed to retain the lead until the 11:43 mark, when the Wildcats took the lead. USF’s abysmal shooting (25.8%) prevented the team from retaking the lead.
USF managed to tie the game at 49 until the final second of the game, when the Bulls’ Sasha Bernard fouled Devon Kane and sent her to the line to shoot three. Kane sank all three free throws and the Wildcats won, 52-49.