USF focused on Owls’ guards

Courtney Williams is leading USF with 18.7 points per game.  ORACLE FILE PHOTO/ADAM MATHIEU

The USF women’s basketball team looks to continue building on its postseason resume when it travels to Philadelphia to play Temple on Sunday. 

USF (11-3, 3-0) is currently riding a six game winning streak, including opening conference play with a 3-0 record. But while the Bulls have opened AAC play with an undefeated record, so have the Owls. 

Temple’s guards have been the offensive punch for the Owls this season, with junior Erica Covile stepping up her play as of late. The guard has averaged 19 points over her last three games, shooting 65.7 percent from the field over that span. 

USF coach Jose Fernandez said the Bulls’ focus will be on containing Covile and guards Tyonna Williams and Feyonda Fitzgerald. All three players have averaged at least 10 points per game this season. 

The Bulls’ defense has been very strong over the past two games, holding opponents to 40 points or fewer. 

“(Defense has been) our strong point, it’s what we hang our hat on,” Fernandez said. “I think our kids really buy into the system and play with great effort and enthusiasm.”

Junior guard Courtney Williams said the Bulls’ defensive success has been due to the team learning how to play cohesively together. 

“I think we just clicked,” Williams said. “It’s our chemistry and trusting our teammates to be where they’re supposed to be at.”

A win Sunday would not only extend the Bulls’ perfect conference record, but help them build toward returning to the top-25, a position they haven’t held since the second week of the season.

“Wins are how you get respect, especially when we’re beating all these great teams,” Williams said. “I definitely think if we keep winning, we’ll get that respect.”