USF seeks rare road win

Of the 13 players on the USF women’s basketball team, only four have experienced a’Big East road win.

The Bulls will attempt to change that this weekend when they travel to face Cincinnati on Saturday at noon at Fifth Third Arena.

‘Cincinnati is a good, disciplined team,’ said senior center Jessica Lawson, who leads the Bulls with 14.1 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. ‘They run the motion offense and have great experience, so we have to stick to our game plan and execute in order to come home with a victory.’

The Bearcats (9-9, 2-4) are led by three experienced’veterans who average in double figures. Senior Kahla Roudebush is pouring in’13.1 points per game, while juniors Shareese Ulis and Carla Jacobs average 10.3 and’10 points per game, respectively.

Lawson said revenge will certainly be on the Bearcats’ minds come Saturday, as USF eliminated Cincinnati with a 68-58 win in the second round of last season’s Big East Tournament.

‘Beating them was really unexpected,’ Lawson said. ‘So I’m sure they will be thinking about it and will play with some extra motivation.’

The Bulls (11-8, 2-4) are coming off a heartbreaking 57-55 loss to St. John’s at Madison Square Garden last weekend. A win Saturday would help remove the sting from that exhausting defeat,’Lawson said.

‘We were really down after the loss to St. John’s,’ she said. ‘This is a game we would really like to have because it will serve as a cushion for us moving forward.’

A win against Cincinnati won’t come easy, though, as USF is just 1-4 in true road games this season (0-3 in Big East play) and the Bearcats are 7-4 at home.

However, USF coach Jose Fernandez said the time off between games should serve his team well.

‘We have had a week to’prepare (for Cincinnati),’ he said. ‘Our girls gave it their all last weekend against St. John’s and have worked hard at practice, so they should be ready to go on Saturday.’

Winning a conference road game would be a major’confidence boost for an inexperienced team, Lawson said, as the Bulls search for their first Big East road win since March of last year at Villanova.

‘It’s hard to win a Big East game – period, let alone on the road,’ Lawson said. ‘A win this weekend would show that our team is maturing and that we know how to battle’adversity.’