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Owls struggle to score at USF

ORACLE PHOTO/BRANDON BENJAMIN

The USF women’s basketball team continued to build its postseason resume Sunday when it dominated Temple 79-53 in the USF Sun Dome. 

The Bulls once again relied on their suffocating defense to build an early lead, which their opponent would never catch up to. Thanks to a 12-0 Bulls’ run to end the half, Temple (13-15, 9-6) ended the first half down 20 and was shooting only 25 percent from the field. 

The Owls’ guards struggled to score against the Bulls, as the four starters combined to shoot 11-for-45, scoring 33 points. 

While the Owls struggled to find consistency on offense throughout the game, USF was able to spread the ball and find ways to get multiple players involved, as it shot 48.3 percent. The Bulls finished with six players who scored at least nine points.

Of those scorers, freshman forward Laura Ferreira led the team with a career-high 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting. 

“I was just ready to play. It was a good game and they were a good team,” Ferreira said. “When I make the first shot, it helps. I get more confidence.”

USF (22-5, 13-2) also had a significant advantage on defensive rebounds, grabbing 15 more than Temple, which employed a significantly smaller lineup that used four guards.

The Bulls’ win improved the team’s best record in program history and makes them 12-1 when playing in the Sun Dome. 

They will attempt to improve upon this record-setting season when they travel to play Cincinnati (6-20, 3-12) on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

“I’m very proud,” coach Jose Fernandez said. “It’s a credit to our kids and our staff getting the right individuals into our program and having good culture. I couldn’t be happier.”