TAMPA -- On the opening day for the new Sun Dome, the Women’s basketball team opened their season with a 70-48 victory against the Stetson Hatters (0-2)
The first half began poorly for the Bulls (1-0) as the Hatters were able to open with an 11-5 lead. However, led by Andrell Smith’s half-high seven points, USF was able to tie the game up with just under nine minutes to play.
The rest of the half was back-and-forth, with five lead changes in the final nine minutes.
Bulls forward Tahira Johnson lead the game with eight rebounds, while three players had two assists. The turnover battle was nearly even, with Stetson at 13 and USF at 12.
USF went into halftime with a 31-30 lead. The second half was a different story.
Stetson had the lead for only three-and-a-half minutes, and only scored 18 points in what was a dominant defensive effort by the Bulls. The team shot 47% from the floor while the Hatters only shot 15%.
Senior Andrea Smith lead USF with 18 points, 14 of which were scored in the second half. She shot 7-for-16 and was perfect from the charity strip (2-2). Smith missed all of last season recovering from an ACL tear.
Another senior, Tahira Johnson, led the game with 13 rebounds. The Bulls out-rebounded the Hatters 60-35. USF also narrowly won the turnover battle, 26-22.
The Bulls won their third straight home opener and will travel to Clemson, South Carolina to take on the Tigers Tuesday at 7pm.