A strong, late closeout from a senior starter helped the USF womens basketball team overcome a turnover-filled evening and move to 3-0 for the season with a 60-50 win over the Bradley Braves.
Senior guard Andrea Smith, coming off of an ACL injury that kept her out of the 2011 season, scored 15 of the teams final 18 points to carry USF to the win.
We tried to get her the ball in space, coach Jose Fernandez said. We isolated her, and she had a good night. She was 50 percent from the floor. Her shot selection has really improved.
The win over the Braves made for Smiths third straight game scoring into double figures. Junior guard Inga Orekhova pitched in as well with six rebounds of her own and scoring 10 points.
It didnt just come from me. It came from our bench, Smith said. I think we had a collective group that just brought it.
The help from USFs bench played a big role in the win. The Bulls put up 28 points off the bench to Bradleys 16.
We knew Bradley was going to be a good basketball team, but if you hold a team to 50 points, 23 in the first half youre doing a great job defensively, Fernandez said.
While the fans can enjoy a third straight win for the Bulls as they head into another home game, against North Dakota at home this Friday at 7 p.m., one area of concern for the Bulls is in their turnovers.
In the first three games of the season the Bulls lost the ball 20, 21 and 20 times, respectively. This concern, along with being out-rebounded through the game against Bradley, is something
Fernandez said he feels the team needs to improve on.
This is uncharacteristic of our basketball team, Fernandez said. We have to get back to practice these next two days, address these two issues and get ready to play Friday.