Fernandez: We control our destiny for NCAA tournament
In front of a crowd wearing pink “Bulls for the Cure” T-shirts, South Florida beat Seton Hall 80-51, setting the mark for its largest margin of victory in conference play since joining the Big East in 2005.
USF (18-7, 5-6) gave out free pink shirts to the first 400 fans to help raise awareness for
Senior forward Jessica Lawson, who had 14 points and six rebounds in the game, said the victory was a result of teamwork.
“I think that this was a great team win,” Lawson said. “The post ran the floor very well, and I think our guards had very good court vision tonight. Everybody came in and
Lawson specifically praised freshman guard Jasmine Wynne for her performance. Wynne went 6-for-11 from the field on her way to 14 points.
“Having people like Jasmine Wynne coming with energy off the bench, I think that’s what we’ve been missing,” Lawson said. “The energy she brought offensively and defensively kind of got us excited and pumped up to play.”
USF, leading 37-23 at halftime, outscored Seton Hall (15-9, 3-8) 17-3 to begin the second half and never looked back.
After trailing 14-13 early in the first half, the Bulls went on a 12-0 run led by senior guard Jazmine Sepulveda’s three-point shooting to pull away.
Wynne — the team’s best on-ball defender, according to coach Jose Fernandez — said she’s looking to score more.
“My confidence in my offense had kind of dropped a little,” Wynne said. “But with the help of my teammates, I’m more comfortable with my shot.”
Lawson said it was not only her team’s ability to make shots that led to the win, but patience as well.
“We had great decision-making,” she said. “I think that we knocked down open shots, and when they started taking away post, we started looking for options.”
This win brings the Bulls to 5-6 in the Big East, which leaves them tied with Rutgers for seventh place. The NCAA selection committee sent eight Big East teams to the Women’s NCAA tournament last year, but Fernandez said he’s trying not to look too far ahead.
“I told our guys that we control our own destiny,” he said. “If we can take care of business ourselves, we won’t have to leave it up to the committee.”
Three of the Bulls’ five remaining opponents are higher in the Big East standings. Fernandez said every game is important from now on.
“We’ll take them any which way we can get them,” he said.