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Bulls look for third straight win in Big East

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 01:02

Pressure begins to build for the USF women’s basketball team as seven games remain for it to prove it deserves a spot in the 2013 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.

The Bulls (16-6, 5-4) look to earn their third consecutive win and climb up in Big East standings as they tip off at 7 p.m in a home game against St.John’s.

“Every game is crucial,” coach Jose Fernandez said.

History indicates that wins against St. John’s do not come easy for USF.

The Bulls have gone 2-5 against the Red Storm (11-10,5-4) ever since they joined the Big East in 2005.

USF’s matchup with St. John’s last season resulted in one of those five losses when the Bulls played without former guard Jasmine Wynne, the team leader in steals and scoring and fell to St. John’s, 57-67.

The defeat was due in large part to USF’s inability to force many turnovers. USF entered the game averaging 21.9 forced turnovers per game, but was only able to make St. John’s cough the ball up 12 times.  
 Today’s game could be
different, as USF will have senior guards Andrea and Andrell Smith leading the charge.

The Smith duo leads the team in steals and scoring, and Andrell Smith looks to bring a high level of defensive intensity from the
opening tip.

 “We’re going to attack them early,” she said.

The twins will spend the
majority of their time defending St.John’s senior guards Shenneika Smith and Nadirah McKenith — two players who posted double
figures in USF’s loss last season.

“We’re going to try to make it as uncomfortable as possible for them because they’re good players,”

Andrell said.   
Before today’s game, the twins and their teammates had an
extended stay in Providence, due to the winter storm Nemo. The Smith twins, who are Florida natives, found their blizzard experience to be quite the experience.

“To see that much snow and to feel the pressure from the wind was unbelievable,” Andrell said. “I’ve never been in anything like that.”

Her sister said she enjoyed the experience.

“It was an amazing experience, and it’s something that I’m glad that we got to be a part of,” Andrea said.  
Despite delays, Smith and her teammates maintained their focus until game day versus Providence.

“No matter when the game was, we were going to go out there to compete for 40 minutes and come back happy with a win,”

Andrea said.

With local forecasts
predicting cloudy skies in Tampa,
however, the Bulls aren’t planning
for another delay and will be
hungry for a third straight win.


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