The USF women’s basketball team hopes to rebound from a disappointing loss when Miami comes to the Sun Dome at 7 tonight for the Bulls’ home opener.
USF (1-1) suffered its first defeat of the season Sunday at Army, 63-59, in a game that USF coach Jose Fernandez said included too many miscues by his team.
“We missed a total of 14 shots from inside the paint (against Army),” Fernandez said. “That is just inexcusable. We can’t miss those shots in the post and expect to win the game.”
In addition to shooting just 31 percent from the field, the Bulls turned the ball over 21 times against the Black Knights. Fernandez said the team needs to play with more caution to be successful.
“What’s important for us is to cut down on our own mistakes,” he said. “If we can limit Miami to one shot, and not give up second-chance points, we will put ourselves in a good position to win. If we can play smart offense and control the ball, we will be right where we need to be. We also have to stay out of foul trouble, because too many fouls early on hurt us so much (against Army).”
Making their home debut will give the team additional motivation, Fernandez said. Four players will make their first regular-season starts at home for USF.
Forward Rae Rae Sayles, one of two transfer students in the starting lineup, will return to the floor after sitting out Sunday’s game. The other transfer player, Andrea Armstrong, will join freshmen Jessica Dickson and Nalini Miller on the floor.
“It is our home opener, so obviously the players are going to be more comfortable,” Fernandez said. “You always want to defend your home floor, and winning our first home game is something we need to be able to do.
“For our new players, making their first appearance at home, it’s going to be exciting. But we have to keep our sights set on doing what we need to do to win the game.”
USF is 1-2 against Miami (2-0) the past three seasons, losing to the Hurricanes in Coral Gables last season, 60-49. The contest opens a four-game home stand for USF, who will host the Best Western Roundball Classic this weekend before Florida comes to the Sun Dome on Dec. 2.