USF women’s basketball (6-2) topped New Hampshire (1-7) on Friday evening, knocking off the Wildcats 79-36 in the Bulls’ first game back at the Yuengling Center since the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Entering the game, both teams were headed in different directions in the standings. However, it was not until after a timeout toward the end of the first quarter when the Bulls’ offense went on a 15-0 run, giving USF a comfortable lead it would not surrender.
Just about everything worked for USF — the offense was scoring and the defense was shutting down UNH. The Wildcats were unable to execute almost anything on offense and the Bulls held them to shooting less than 20 percent from the field.
Junior Alyssa Rader played a huge role in the game — she finished the night with a double-double to help push her team to victory. Rader finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
”Collectively we said ‘let's dial in and focus.’ We need to get it together, because we are getting good looks and getting good opportunities,” Rader said. “We just need to stay down on the defense, and on the offensive end be patient.”
Overall, five scorers finished in double figures. Rader, Beatriz Jordao (17), Laura Ferreira (13), Shae Leverett (12), and Sydni Harvey (11).
”I think it is good to have a good team like this, and it helps us definitely. Coming off a tournament that we didn't come home with what we wanted, as far as record,” Rader said.
Enna Pehadzic took control in the last two minutes of the game, getting a steal and scoring on the fast-break and scoring another basket shortly after. Jordao continued to force her way into the paint as she has all season, getting off a jumper and then following it up with a layup. Jordao capped off the night with 17 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks.
“Whenever you win you feel good, but sometimes you win and play poorly. We could have put up 80 points and given up 60, we didn't do that tonight,” coach Jose Fernandez said. “I thought for those 20 minutes we defended the right way and held a team to 11 points, that's tough to do. But that's what really good teams do.”