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USF falls to DePaul on the road

Published: Monday, January 14, 2013

Updated: Monday, January 14, 2013 00:01


A solid second-half performance wasn’t enough for a win over DePaul (12-4, 2-1) Saturday night when the Bulls
(11-4,0-2) fell in a 91-75 loss to the Blue Devils in USF’s second Big East game of the season.

The Bulls were off to a good start, going on a 4-0 run early in the game, but the Blue Devils started to make it tough for USF to get a lead.

After DePaul’s sophomore guard Brittany Hrynko drained a three-pointer that put the Blue Devils on an 11-0 run, the Bulls started to feel its first
conference win slowly slipping away. 

USF coach Jose Fernandez knows that in the Big East no game is a walk in the park.

Especially against a DePaul team that beat No. 15 Louisville over a week ago.

“The thing with this league is you can’t have a night off because every team that you play can beat you on the road or at home,” he said. “That’s why it’s the best league in the country.”  

USF senior guard Andrea Smith was one of the few bright spots of the night, scoring a career-high 35 points and recording 10 rebounds in her second straight double-double.  However, it was foul trouble for the Bulls that made for a slow start. In the first half, the team
accrued seven fouls among three players, finishing the night with 26 total.

“I just didn’t think we defended, we reached too much and we put DePaul on the free throw line 20 times in the first half,” coach Jose
Fernandez said. 

The same USF team that pushed No. 2 Notre Dame to overtime last week couldn’t get anything going on the defensive side of the ball, due in part to the fouls. The poor defensive showing had DePaul up 43-26 at the half.

“We didn’t defend like we have been defending.” Fernandez said. “We just didn’t do the things that we’ve been doing all season.”

Though Smith helped the Bulls outscore the Blue Devils 49-48 in the second half, the offensive recovery proved to be too little too late against a
DePaul squad that enjoyed the lead it held most of the night.

“Offense wasn’t an issue,” Fernandez said. “We scored points, it’s just defensively we had a multitude of things we could have done better and half of those were effort issues.”

Junior guard Inga Orekhova, was part of that scoring, as she went into double digits in the first half of play with 11 points. DePaul’s defense reacted to that by holding Orekhova to just two points in the second half.

But offense was strong for the Blue Devils as the team had four players score double figures, one being senior guard Anna Martin who matched Smith’s 35 points.

“DePaul got out and ran the floor,” Fernandez said.  “We stopped the ball too deep in the back court where they got driving lanes to the basket and open kicks for threes.”

Sitting at 0-2 in the conference, USF will have a quick turnaround as the team heads back home to take on Cincinnati on Tuesday night. Despite playing on a short week, Fernandez said he feels the Bulls will be ready to go.

“I think they’re going to be hungry to get back at home and get a win, especially after we played against DePaul,” Fernandez said. “You take it one game at a time now.”

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