A solid second-halfperformance wasnt enough for a win over DePaul (12-4, 2-1)Saturday night when the Bulls
(11-4,0-2) fell in a 91-75 loss to the Blue Devils in USFssecond Big East game of the season.
The Bulls were off to a good start, going on a 4-0 run early in the game, but the Blue Devils started to make it tough for USF to get a lead.
After DePauls sophomore guard Brittany Hrynko drained athree-pointer that put the Blue Devils on an 11-0 run, the Bulls started to feel its first
conference win slowlyslipping away.
USF coach Jose Fernandez knows that in the Big East no game is a walk in the park.
Especially against a DePaul team that beat No. 15 Louisville over a week ago.
The thing with this league is you cant have a night off because every team that you play can beat you on the road or at home, he said. Thats why its the best league in the country.
USF senior guard Andrea Smith was one of the few bright spots of the night, scoring acareer-high 35 points and recording 10 rebounds in her second straightdouble-double. However, it was foul trouble for the Bulls that made for a slow start. In the first half, the team
accrued seven foulsamong three players, finishing the night with 26 total.
I just didnt think wedefended, we reached too much and we put DePaul on the free throw line 20 times in the first half, coach Jose
The same USF team that pushed No. 2 Notre Dame to overtime last week couldnt get anything going on thedefensive side of the ball, due in part to the fouls. The poor defensiveshowing had DePaul up43-26 at the half.
We didnt defend like we have been defending.Fernandez said. We just didnt do the things that weve been doing all season.
Though Smith helped theBulls outscore the Blue Devils49-48 in the second half, the offensive recovery proved to be too little too late against a
DePaul squad that enjoyed the lead it held most of the night.
Offense wasnt an issue,Fernandez said. We scored points, its just defensivelywe had a multitude of things we could have done better and half of those were effortissues.
Junior guard Inga Orekhova, was part of that scoring, as she went into double digits in the first half of play with 11 points. DePauls defense reacted to that by holding Orekhova to just two points in the second half.
But offense was strong for the Blue Devils as the team had four players score double figures, one being senior guard Anna Martin who matched Smiths 35 points.
DePaul got out and ran the floor, Fernandez said. We stopped the ball too deep in the back court where they got driving lanes to the basket and open kicks for threes.
Sitting at 0-2 in theconference, USF will have a quick turnaround as the team heads back home to take on Cincinnati on Tuesday night. Despite playing on a short week, Fernandez said he feels the Bulls will be ready to go.
I think theyre going to be hungry to get back at home and get a win, especiallyafter we played againstDePaul, Fernandez said. You take it one game at atime now.