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Bulls extend home winning streak to six against Marshall

Women’s basketball shot with 54% accuracy from the field in its victory over Marshall. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO.

In its first home game since Nov. 22, USF women’s basketball defeated Marshall 77-68 Wednesday afternoon thanks to outstanding performances from senior forward Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu and senior guard Elena Tsineke.

The Bulls (9-3) continue to dominate their opponents in the Yuengling Center, with their win against the Thundering Herd (5-4) extending their undefeated streak at home to six games this season.

Mendjiadeu led the way in scoring with 17 points on seven field goals along with five rebounds and two assists.Tsineke followed with 16 points and led the team in assists with seven.

One player who specifically shined in her minutes was junior guard Maria Alvarez. In 10 total minutes, she had nine points all coming from three-point shots, and helped maintain the Bulls’ lead in the third quarter.

Alvarez returned to action for the first time this season after recovering from a knee injury she suffered in the 2021-22 regular season finale. Knocking down her first shot helped relieve the nerves she felt before the game.

“I think for any shooter, just seeing that ball going in for the first time sets the bar really high for the rest of the game, so I am just getting that confidence back,” Alvarez said.

“It has been like nine months since I have been able to shoot in a game, so just seeing that ball go in, it is really exciting and it made me really happy.”

South Florida’s ball movement made a big difference as the Bulls racked up 25 assists on 29 field goals in the game. Their depth also shined as their bench scored 27 points compared to Marshall’s seven. Coach Jose Fernandez was encouraged by how the team shared the rock.

“We played a lot of people tonight, we played 12 people. So I liked our balance,” Fernandez said. “[As our] bench gets more confident and more experienced, then they can help us in the games.”

Despite the collective hot shooting night, there were still aspects of the Bulls’ performance that they will need to address in the coming days on the defensive end. In the fourth quarter alone, USF allowed Marshall to score 19 points on 46% field goal shooting and ended the game on a six-to-nothing run.

Fernandez was not satisfied with the team’s defense. However, that did not take away his positive feelings about where they stand at this point in the season. He said it’s a matter of working on the things they can control.

“I feel good. Of course, I’d feel even better if we were 12-0, but all you can talk about is what happened in those games that led to us not winning and things that we needed to work on,” he said. “Defending the arc, taking care of the ball. Today we gave up a free throw violation. That’s been an issue, but I’m proud of these guys.”

The Bulls will be back at the Yuengling Center to face La Salle on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and BullsUnlimited Radio.