Despite a double-double by Tamara Henshaw, USF women’s basketball lost to Memphis on Wednesday night at the Yuengling Center 47-40.
Henshaw’s 16 points and 10 rebounds were not enough to beat a Memphis team that went into the fourth quarter trailing by six points.
“For me, it’s not about getting double-doubles, it’s not about points, it’s honestly contributing to the team and what I can do to help the team win,” Henshaw said.
USF (11-8, 2-3) shot 31 percent from the field and only 1-of-20 from 3-point range while out-rebounding Memphis (8-10, 3-2) by nearly a two-to-one margin.
“[Henshaw] and Shae [Leverett] were great on the glass and finishing around the rim, you know, you are 1-for-20 from the 3-point land, you are not going to win,” coach Jose Fernandez said. “You are not going to win that way.”
The Bulls were able to outscore the Tigers 22-6 in second-chance points and 34 of the 40 points scored by the Bulls were in the paint.
Fernandez earned a double-technical foul with 0.2 seconds remaining in the game and the lack of free-throw opportunities, despite the physicality of the game, was upsetting for him.
“I finished the game in the locker room for a reason,” Fernandez said. “That’s what I think of that.”
The Bulls trailed by six points at halftime and were able to take the lead at the end of three quarters. The Tigers scored just one point in the quarter while shooting 0-for-10 from the field
“The third quarter was great, but, when you are at home, we were up five and we did not close out the basketball game,” Fernandez said.
The Bulls turned the ball over 22 times and Fernandez said he knows that his squad, with its top four players out with injuries, need to take care of the ball if they want to compete in the AAC.
“We have a very small room for error,” Fernandez said. “We are playing everyone in conference with their full healthy squad…we can’t have guys play the way they did. That can’t happen.”
While Henshaw recorded her second double-double on the season, Fernandez said he wonders who else he can rely on in a close game when the game is on the line.
“We played Tulane really well at home, a lot of guys on the floor that haven’t played in games that are a one or two possession games like what happened at Central Florida,” Fernandez said. “You got to get a stop or you need a basket. I don’t know where we can get a basket from one of our perimeter guys … we gave this one away at home.”