Women follow up men in N.J.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL GAMETIMEUSF (10-7, 0-4) at Seton Hall (12-3, 2-1)When: Sat., 2:00 p.m.Where: Prudential CenterTV/Radio: 1010 A.M.

The USF women’s basketball team (10-7, 0-4) will travel to South Orange, NJ on Saturday to face Seton Hall (12-3, 2-1) in an attempt to win its first Big East Conference game of the season.

Not only are they trying to win their first conference game, they are trying to squash a five-game losing streak and get out of last place.

The trip to New Jersey will pit USF against a hot team. The Pirates are 8-0 at home this year, and have won eight of their last nine games. Their lone loss came at the hands of No. 5 Rutgers, a team that advanced to the NCAA Finals last season.

The Bulls are allowing more than 64 points per game compared to the nearly 55 points per game the Pirates are allowing.

Difficult competition is something USF will have to endure since the Big East boasts six ranked teams this season. Seton Hall is seventh in the conference, and the Bulls are scheduled to face five ranked teams in the coming weeks.

Fortunately for the Bulls, junior guard Shantia Grace will return to the court after leaving Tuesday’s game against the Providence Friars (11-5, 1-2) with a right ankle injury. Grace – the team’s leading scorer this season – left seven minutes into the game.

Afterwards, Bulls coach Jose Fernandez said he wasn’t sure how long it would be before she came back.

Even with Grace, the team’s performance has been disappointing this season, Fernandez said after the game.

“Our play is going to have to change,” Fernandez said. “We’re just not making plays. We’re not finishing our lay-ups. We’re not shooting well from the free-throw line. In the end, it’s very disappointing. At the end of the day, it’s all about production, and I’m very disappointed in some of our guys right now.”

Before defeating the Bulls, the Friars were winless in the conference.