The USF women’s basketball team begins arguably one of the team’s most important weekends in history tonight when the Bulls host Southern Miss at 7 in the Corral.
The Bulls are fighting for their postseason lives, both in their own conference tournament and toward a possible Women’s NIT berth.
USF put itself in a great position to reach the Conference USA tournament with a victory against UAB on Sunday, but the Bulls (11-13, 4-7) have not yet clinched a berth. The team can do so with a victory tonight against the Golden Eagles, a team that has lost five straight games and nine of its last 10.
Southern Miss is the second-worst scoring team in the conference, and 40 percent of the teams scoring comes from two players. However, the Golden Eagles (14-10, 2-9) make up for their offensive woes on defense, where the team ranks at the top of the conference in scoring defense and field-goal percentage defense.
USF coach Jose Fernandez believes his team deserves a WNIT bid if the Bulls are able to run the table in their final three games. After the Golden Eagles, the Bulls host Tulane on Sunday before traveling to face UAB in the season finale.
The Green Wave are 2-9 in C-USA and have lost eight of their last 10 games, while the Blazers have the conference’s worst record and are coming off a 21-point loss to the Bulls.
Should the Bulls win their final three games they would be eligible to receive a postseason bid. Though Fernandez believes three wins should be enough, the Bulls may need to win at least one game in the conference tournament to solidify their postseason spot.
That scenario makes this weekend that much more important for the Bulls, who sit in ninth place in C-USA. However, the Bulls could move up as high as seventh in the conference, which would give the team an easier first-round game, most likely against a team USF defeated this season.
East Carolina has five conference wins, while both Memphis and Louisville have seven. However, the Bulls, who have won four conference games, do not own the tiebreaker against any of those three teams because USF lost to each one this season.