The women’s basketball team is 4-4 after the first eight games of conference play with eight remaining.
Freshman forward Alisia Jenkins said she will carry a must-win mentality throughout the remainder of the season.
“You should try to strive for the best, so every last one of these games is a must win,” Jenkins said.
USF (15-6, 4-4) will look to climb above .500 in conference play for the first time this season with a road game at Providence (6-15, 1-7) on Saturday afternoon.
“We’re 4-4, we could be saying ‘Hey we should be saying we’re 7-1 if we won those close games’, but we’re not,” coach Jose Fernandez said. “Right now all we can think about is the next game and coming back home.”
The women’s basketball team will seek an offensive performance that mirrors their last road game versus Pittsburgh – one in which all of the starters posted double figures for a 78-60 win.
Providence’s defense has thus far allowed teams to shoot an average of 43 percent from the field, – a Big East low. The Bulls won their last three by games by 10 points or more versus teams ranking within the bottom third of the conference in field goal percentage defense.
Though the Friars hold a 4-6 record at home, they are not to be overlooked – they managed to pull an upset at home versus Villanova, a team who defeated USF in January.
Preventing Providence forwards Brianna Edwards and Chanise Baldwin, who rank fifth and 17th in conference rebounding, from crashing the boards will be key to a win for USF, and Jenkins, the Big East’s 14th best rebounder, plans on using the fundamentals to keep Edwards and Baldwin at bay.
“I am going to box out, and run the floor like coach tells me to do,” she said.
Jenkins said she is determined to capitalize on every rebounding opportunity to help the team get a win.
“If I don’t get my rebounds I am going to be mad, so I am going to be hungry for them,” Jenkins said.
After Saturday’s game versus Providence, Jenkins and the Bulls will head back home to face St. John’s at 7 p.m. on Tuesday Feb. 12.