Sydni Harvey led the way in USF women’s basketball (11-7, 2-2) defeat of Tulane (13-5, 3-2) on Saturday afternoon at the Yuengling Center. The freshman scored a career-high 25 points in the Bulls’ 73-46 victory in front of an announced crowd of 2,616.
“I felt great, a lot of confidence,” Harvey said. “I thank my teammates, because they would drive in and then kick it out to me.”
Joining Harvey in double-digit scoring were a trio of Bulls — Enna Pehadzic (21), Shae Leverett (13) and Tamara Henshaw (10). Leverett added 12 rebounds to earn her third double-double of the season.
“Great rebounders rebound out of the area, they are selfish, they go over teammates to get the rebound,” coach Jose Fernandez said. “That is what I want from Shae and that is what she is doing.”
Pehadzic made her presence known all around the court, contributing to her team on both sides of the ball. In addition to scoring a career-high in points, she broke her record for most three-pointers made in a game, finishing 5-of-10 from downtown. Defensively, she added eight rebounds and two steals.
The Bulls only had eight players suited up for this game, as Alyssa Rader was out again. Even without their leading rebounder, the Bulls defense still showed, forcing 18 turnovers and securing 22 defensive rebounds.
“You look on the bench and you see [Silvia] Serrat, [Kitija] Laksa, [Laura] Ferreira, [Beatriz] Jordao and Rader. That’s a lot of points out of our lineup, that's a lot,” Fernandez said. “I am happy for the kids, because they have done a great job responding to all of this stuff.”
Pehadzic and Leverett each wore bandages on their face after colliding with each other during practice on Thursday. Considering USF only had eight active players, there might have been a fear of an already injured team suffering yet another setback.
“I am happy it happened to me and Shae, because we just laughed it off,” Pehadzic joked.
Moving forward, the Bulls play Memphis at home Wednesday in another AAC matchup. They feel motivated to prove their worth with all the injuries USF has suffered.
“I think that not having a lot of our teammates play really motivates us, because we play for them and we play for each other,” Leverett said. “We just want to show others that we may be down people, but we are USF no matter what.”