Riding the energy of winning the Junkanoo Jam Tournament over Thanksgiving weekend, the Bulls’ momentum carried over to the Sun Dome on Wednesday, with a 91-41 victory over in-state foe Florida International.
Carving up the Panthers (1-4) with a USF single-game record 17 assists, junior point guard Laia Flores’ distribution allowed the sharp-shooting Bulls (4-0) to finish with nine players in the scoring column en route to a 50-point victory.
“It was awesome,” Flores said. “We were just sharing the ball with each other. We were just having fun, we were just making shots. At halftime, coach (Jose Fernandez) said we had to play better defense, and that’s what we did. Those made us run better offense.”
After scoring only 33 points in the first half, the Bulls exploded coming out of halftime, tallying 37 points alone in the third quarter.
In the breakout frame, USF shot 79 percent from the floor while knocking down seven of nine shots from behind the arc.
“That third quarter, we shot the ball extremely well,” Fernandez said. “Our post players ran, we shared it, we made the extra pass. I think every shot we took in that quarter was wide open. That’s what kids are supposed to do, they’re supposed to knock down wide open shots.”
Led by senior forward Ariadna Pujol’s 23 points, three Bulls finished with over 20 points.
Along with Pujol, forwards Maria Jespersen and Kitija Laksa each finished with 22 points.
The Bulls travel to Indianapolis to play Butler (2-4) on Friday and then to Jonesboro, Arkansas to play Arkansas State (0-5) on Sunday afternoon before returning home on Dec. 14 to host Saint Francis University (2-3).