Freshmen shine in comeback win against Tulsa

Elisa Pinzan (4) recorded seven assists Saturday in USF's victory against Tulsa. ORACLE FILE PHOTO/BRIAN HATTAB

A personal record-breaking performance from Luize Septe, Enna Pehadzic’s high-volume shooting and a breakout performance from Elisa Pinzan helped USF women’s basketball to a 59-48 victory against Tulsa at the Yuengling Center on Saturday.

Pehadzic, who has been labeled a “volume shooter” by coach Jose Fernandez, managed to score 20 points, however, her shots lacked accuracy, as she shot 28 percent from the field.

“I can just control shooting the ball and take the right shots,” Pehadzic said. “I can’t control if it goes in or not. [I] can just focus on effort plays.”

The Bulls secured the comeback victory after trailing throughout the first quarter. USF managed to take the lead for the first time early in the second quarter after Pehadzic drained a 3-pointer. The momentum faltered at the end of the first quarter, however, as the Golden Hurricane retook the lead before the half.

After exchanging the lead with Tulsa early in the second half, the Bulls managed to rally and outscored Tulsa 16-2 in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

“In the second half we valued possessions on both ends of the floor,” Fernandez said. “I thought we did a really good job of defending … we did a good job of closing the game.”  

Septe scored nine points in the second half for a total of 16 points, a career-best. Septe’s performances have been noteworthy in previous games and she has broken into the Bulls’ starting lineup with an average of 30 minutes played per game throughout the season.

“Offensively [Septe] is getting more confident [and] she guards the other team’s best players,” Fernandez said. “ … overall, this was [Septe’s] best game.”

Septe was not the only freshman to have a standout performance against Tulsa. Pinzan stepped up to fill in for the injured Sydni Harvey, who missed Saturday's game due to being in concussion protocol. Pinzan managed to secure seven assists against the Golden Hurricane, just one shy of her career record.

“I was very happy [with Pinzan’s performance],” Fernandez said. “She got us into exactly where we wanted to get into. I know the ball didn’t go in for her but she managed the game.”

Gearing up for their away game against East Carolina on Wednesday, the Bulls could be missing another crucial starter as Harvey joins Kitija Laksa, Beatriz Jordao, Silvia Serrat and Laura Ferreira on the inactive list. Harvey currently leads the Bulls in scoring with 12.3 points per game.

Fernandez commented on Harvey’s condition and whether or not she will be available to take on the Pirates.

“Day-to-day … we’ll continue to monitor her and we’ll go from there.”