Let the record show that there was a time when the Bulls trailed against Temple on Sunday at the Yuengling Center.
A shooting foul on junior Shae Leverett sent Temple’s leading scorer, Mia Davis, to the free-throw line 17 seconds into the game, where she made both shots.
That would be the last time the Owls were in front, as Sydni Harvey hit a 3-pointer 11 seconds later — the first of seven, a career high for the sophomore.
It would also be the last time Temple (13-10, 5-5) was even remotely close, as USF (14-10, 6-3) ran away with things in a 99-51 laugher. The Bulls outscored the Owls 26-8 and 32-8 in the first and second quarters, respectively, to separate things in a hurry.
“I thought we got off to a really, really good start,” coach Jose Fernandez said. “I think our players knew how important this game had to be because we went up to Temple [on Jan. 16] and we dropped one there. So the split was going to have to be very, very important.”
Harvey and freshman Elena Tsineke each scored a game-high 25 points — tying a career high and setting a career high, respectively — while the Bulls’ 58 points in the first half tied for 14th most in program history.
USF’s 35 field goals and 57 percent shooting was also a season high, while the 99 points were the most by any team in the AAC during conference play this season and second most by an AAC team in any game. Additionally, the Bulls’ 3-point performance (13 made) tied for seventh most in a single game in program history.
“It’s fun when the ball’s going through the hole,” Fernandez said. “I think it makes you play a little harder on the other end.”
It certainly seemed like it did. Not only did USF hold Temple to just four field goals in the first half — including a span where the Owls didn’t make a shot in nine minutes toward the end of the first quarter and through most of the second — but they scored 22 points off 12 Owl turnovers.
“We started with a really positive way,” Tsineke said. “We defended … we made 3s and we showed great energy, both defensively and offensively.”
The Bulls also shut down Davis, who went 3-of-12 from the field — including 0-of-8 in the first half — and was a game worst -43 in plus/minus differential. In the Owls’ 69-66 win in Philadelphia earlier this season, Davis led all scorers with 25.
“We started Shae Leverett on her, and Shae was long and she was active,” Fernandez said. “At halftime, she’s got four points. She was 0-of-8 from the floor … we had to make her work for everything she got.”
All nine healthy Bulls saw action and scored points in the game, with no player receiving fewer than eight minutes, which was good for morale, according to Fernandez.
“These guys genuinely care about one another and support one another,” Fernandez said. “So they all want each other to do well. And that’s what team sports is all about.”
Next Up: Tulane on Thursday at 8 p.m. TV: ESPN3 Radio: Bulls Unlimited