Huskies halt Bulls’ streak
A crowd of over 9,000 was nearly emptied by the time the final buzzer sounded in Harry A. Gampel Pavillion in Storrs, Connecticut. The USF women’s basketball team struggled to contain UConn’s shooting in a 92-50 loss.
There were no last-minute heroics, just the civil exchange of handshakes. The Bulls walked off the court and into the locker room, scratching their heads in confusion as to what had just happened.
After winning eight straight games and its first five in AAC play, USF (14-4, 5-1) had momentum before Sunday’s game with No. 2 UConn
(16-1, 6-0). Even with USF standout Courtney Williams scoring 23 points, the Bulls were no match for the Huskies, who led the game from start to finish.
“I just thought in the first half they took us out of a lot of things we wanted to do,” coach Jose Fernandez said. “Turnovers were an issue. I thought we didn’t defend the paint like we should have.”
UConn led by 18 at halftime and used a 17-0 run in the second half to put the game out of reach for good. The Huskies’ hard-pressed defense proved to be too much for the Bulls, who only had one player score in double figures.
The Huskies forced 11 total turnovers and came away with 17 points off those mistakes. USF was no match for the physical presence down low, as the Bulls were outscored by UConn 46-14 in the paint. The Bulls were also held to a season-low 26 percent shooting, making only 19 of their 73 attempts.
“I wouldn’t have thought that we’d get up here and get drilled by 42,” Fernandez said. “We’ve taken worse teams up here and that hasn’t happened.”
UConn’s largest lead came with 1:57 left in the game, going ahead by a staggering 45 points. Sunday marked USF’s biggest loss since Jan. 4, 2010 against none other than UConn, which is now 14-0 against the Bulls all-time.
USF will head to Texas this week to take on Houston (6-11, 1-5) on Wednesday at 8 p.m.
“We have to get back to work and get better,” Fernandez said. “We were prepared to play this game, our effort was good. We just did not make very good decisions on either side of the ball.”