The Bulls will look to defend their home turf when Army comes into the Sun Dome tonight. The USF women’s basketball team hosts the Black Knights in a non-conference match-up before hosting the Best Western Roundup Classic this weekend.
“Right now we’ve been more concerned about ourselves; we are looking at the things we have done well and what we need to do to beat a zone-oriented team like Army,” coach Jose Fernandez said.
The Bulls (3-1) took home the championship at the Miami Jam tournament Nov. 10, defeating FIU to extend their winning streak to two games. Many of the USF players are glad to get a home game after playing their first four games on the road.
“We’re excited to be back home after long road games,” sophomore Jessica Dickson said. “We’re going to bring the intensity in front of our home crowd.”
USF will look to stay out of foul trouble early, something that plagued the Bulls against FIU.
“Our starters got into foul trouble at FIU, but we regrouped and came out strong in the second half,” junior Ezria Parson said.
USF was able to hold its lead thanks to strong play from the bench.
“Our bench came ready to play; we had four starters on the bench at one time and our bench held it down for us,” sophomore Nalini Miller said.
USF continues to be tested by some of the top teams in the country. In the first three weeks of the season, USF will face two teams in the Top 10, Duke and Connecticut. USF’s only loss of the season came against Duke on Nov. 14.
“They are great teams. We are going to learn a lot from playing a tougher schedule when we get into conference matches,” Parsons said.
Fernandez likes the way his team has played so far this season, but knows there is always room for improvement.
“We’re 3-1 and off to a good start. I think our speed and athleticism is going to carry us,” Fernandez said.
The injury bug has bitten early this season, something USF will have to overcome against Army. Backup Sharon Cambridge is battling a bone bruise.
“We need to get some people healthy. Hopefully when we get (Cambridge) back we’ll get some added depth to our roster,” Fernandez said.
Army picked up its first win of the season Sunday when it defeated Iona 74-56. The game will be a homecoming of sorts for Army standout Jen Hanson, a graduate of Seminole High School in Seminole, Fla.