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Bulls blow out UNF in home debut

The USF women’s basketball team showed no signs of fatigue as it won its home opener in decisive fashion Tuesday night, defeating North Florida 76-41 and having three players score in double figures.

It was the Bulls’ fourth game in five nights, and coach Jose Fernandez said he was more than pleased with his team’s effort given the amount of games played in such a short span.

“I thought we played three top 40 teams in three days, and we come back with only one day of rest and play as well as we played today. I was very pleased with that,” he said.

Junior guard Kaneisha Saunders led USF (2-2) with 14 points, scoring 10 straight during one stretch for the Bulls.

“I just let the game come to me basically … with a team like this, you don’t really want to force anything,” she said. “So I just found the open shot, and my team found me on the open jumpers.”

Junior forward Tiffany Conner added 12 points for the Bulls and three assists, while junior guard Andrell Smith contributed 10 points and four assists.

USF (2-2) also benefited from balanced play beyond the arc. Five players had at least one 3-pointer in the first half, helping the Bulls to a comfortable 41-16 lead at halftime.

Fernandez said the impending additions of guard Andrea Smith (ACL) and Inga Orekhova (suspension) are creating competition for backcourt minutes.

“There’s a great deal of internal competition on this team,” he said. “We saw it this weekend, and again, I think we have a very good basketball team right now. When we get two new additions, one of them here soon, and then one in January, there will be more competition. I like the way we are sharing the basketball and we are trusting the help behind us.”