Bulls do the little things well in win over Houston

by Gary Shelton on February 22, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, USF

Laksa scored 36 to lead USF to its victory./CARMEN MANDATO

Laksa scored 36 to lead USF to its victory./CARMEN MANDATO

Thursday, 1 a.m.

The 17th-ranked USF women's team did all of the little things right in their latest victory.

The Bulls (23-5) scored more than 80 points for the third time in five games to beat Houston (20-8). The Bulls scored 21 points at the end of the first half and the start of the second. This time, USF came from five down after the first quarter.

Kitija Laksa scored 36 points to lead USF. Maria Jespersen scored 19, including her 16th double-double of the season.

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Jespersen had her 16th double-double of the season./CARMEN MANDATO

Jespersen had her 16th double-double of the season./CARMEN MANDATO

"We told our team, we need to play through their physicality and play through fouls," said USF coach Jose Fernandez. "Houston averages 24-25 fouls per game. We had to meet passes and play through that physicality. We closed the half and came out into the first three, four minutes of the third quarter, that was good to see. Us getting to the line and making our free throws was huge.”

The Bulls out rebounded Houston, 46-36. They hit 27 of 31 free throws. They scored 26 points in the paint. Usually, dominating those stats will help a team, and it did.

“Give credit to Houston, they are a tough team to prepare for," Fernandez said. "Everything they do on the defensive end: jump between man-to-man, 1-2-2 zone, corner court, trapping in the half court, they make you do things you’re not used to seeing in practice. It’s hard to mimic that many variations. I thought we needed to do a great job of keeping them in front of us and defending the arc.”

The Bulls play their final regular season game at the Sun Dome Sunday. USF is host to Cincinnati at 5 p.m.

Laura Ferreira had nine rebounds for USF./CARMEN MANDATO

Laura Ferreira had nine rebounds for USF./CARMEN MANDATO

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