With finals approaching fast, the USF women’s basketball team will have time to stew over lost opportunities after its 75-65 overtime loss to No. 8 Uconn on Wednesday.
“We did not go there to get a moral victory, that’s for sure,” coach Jose Fernandez said. “We were going in there to get a (win). Our players are upset because there are a variety of things we could have done for that game not to go into overtime.”
For instance, UConn was aided by USF’s foul trouble and lack of depth on the bench. The Huskies outscored USF’s bench 34-4 for the game.
USF played a large portion of the second half without starting center Nalini Miller, who fouled out. During the overtime period, the Bulls had three of their starters on the bench.
“Depth of course is an issue,” Fernandez said. “Our starters logged a lot of minutes.”
Four Bulls played more than 40 minutes against the three-time defending national champions, and no one was more important than point guard Anedra Gilmore, who scored a team-high 20 points and sank a 3-pointer with less than 30 seconds remaining to force overtime, stunning the 10,000 fans who filled Gampel Pavilion.
“(Gilmore) is a senior and she’s been in those positions before,” Fernandez said. “She stepped up and knocked it down.”
Another bright spot was sophomore Jessica Dickson, who has scored in double figures every game this season.
The 2003-04 Conference USA Freshman of the Year scored 19 versus UConn.
Wednesday’s game was the second time this season the Bulls have played a top-10 team in a hostile environment. USF faced Duke in the Preseason NIT at Cameron Indoor Stadium before a crowd of 3,734.
“It’s a great experience, and it’s only going to prepare us when we got to places like Houston, TCU and DePaul,” Fernandez said.
The Bulls will have a short break for finals before they pick up their practice routine in preparation for their next game versus Southeastern Louisiana on Dec. 12. It will be their first home game since their loss to Eastern Michigan on Nov. 28.