In a season that has seen a barrage of accolades including coach Jose Fernandez’s 250th win and USF’s first ever AP top 25 ranking, the Bulls added yet another piece of history to this storied season.
With a 79-46 rout of conference opponent Tulsa (14-11, 9-5), USF (21-5, 12-2) women’s basketball secured the best regular season record in the program’s history.
“We have a lot of important basketball left to play,” Fernandez said. “But I was really pleased with the way we came out and we responded. It all started with our shoot around and our last two practices.”
The Bulls had a 36-23 lead at the half and stormed out of the gate with a 20-4 run to start the second half led by junior guard Courtney Williams’ 11 second-half points. She would finish the game with 17 on 8-for-17 shooting.
“The biggest thing for Courtney is to continue to grow and to play every possession at both ends of the floor,” Fernandez said. “She made some spectacular plays.”
USF didn’t have to rely solely on Williams in this game. Five Bulls scored in double digits with freshmen Laura Ferreira and Maria Jespersen, with each recording their first career double-doubles.
As a team that has won 14 of its last 17 games, USF was able to rebound Wednesday.
“We were upset about the loss (to East Carolina), so we came into the practices really wanting to prove to everybody that we were better than we showed at that game,” Jespersen said. “We shared the ball, we played better as a team and it turned out well.”
Sophomore Paige Cashin saw an increased amount of time in Wednesday night’s win, as she played for nine minutes.
“Paige has been practicing really well,” Fernandez said. “She’s probably had two of her best practices of the season this week and we’re going to need her to develop and keep getting better because she’s only a sophomore.”
USF dominated the floor, nearly doubling Tulsa’s points in the paint and outscored the Golden Hurricane 25-2 in fast break points.
USF continues their home stand on Sunday against Temple at noon.