Williams leads Bulls to WNIT third round


Sophomore guard Courtney Williams said she doesn’t think most people know where her hometown of Folkston, Ga. is.

The athletes that the town produces, though, are nationally known.

Williams earned an All-Region selection Tuesday and is being considered for All-American honors, according to USF coach Jose Fernandez.

With the All-Region selection she received Tuesday and the All-American honors she is being considered for, according to coach Jose Fernandez, Williams said she hopes to join notable Folkston natives, including current Denver Bronco Ronald “Champ” Bailey and Detroit Lion, Rodney “Boss” Bailey.

Following the Bailey brothers, Williams might be next in national recognition, leading her team through the WNIT, which will continue tonight.

“There are a lot of things that she’s done to put herself in a great position,” Fernandez said. “For her to take the next level this spring and summer is going to be very important.”

While she leads the Bulls with 10 20-point games, Fernandez said she also began elevating her game to the next level last summer with defensive improvements.

“(Williams’ defense) wasn’t there (last year),” he said. “She’s got some tough assignments this year and she’s responded well to them. She’s going to have a tough assignment (tonight).”

Her assignment will be against Atlantic 10 third-team honoree Danni Jackson, who has been averaging 13.3 points and 6 assists per game.

“(Danni Jackson) is very good left handed,” Fernandez said. “She sets the table and makes (her team) go.”

USF’s ability to share the ball against Stetson was a key reason for the 75-56 victory on Sunday. Of the team’s 25 assists, seven of those originated from Williams.

“We all like to share the ball,” senior guard Inga Orekhova said. “If people are open, we are going to get them the ball.”

Since Williams became a starter on the team, the Bulls are 5-2 when she dishes out four or more assists in one game.

Orekhova, who thinks the best parts of Williams’ game is the pull-up jump shot and rebounding, also took note to Williams increased contribution.

“I remember she barely played last year,” she said. “This year she played a big part in our team, so she’s been a big factor in winning and scoring.”

The other factor USF will need to take care of is George Washington’s Jonquel Jones. The 6-foot-4 sophomore recorded a career-high 14 rebounds against USF during her freshman year at Clemson.

“Jonquel Jones, who I’ll be guarding, is going to be a challenge,” sophomore forward Alisia Jenkins said. “It’s not easy, but I have confidence in my defensive game.”

The Bulls have made improvements near the boards since their game against North Carolina A&T during the opening round of the WNIT. After being out-rebounded in that game, they beat Stetson to eleven extra rebounds.

The Bulls will play George Washington in the third round of the WNIT at the Sun Dome
tonight at 7.