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Bulls, Blasigh breeze past Golden Hurricane

Freshman guard Vittoria Blasigh attempts a shot while being guarded by a Tulsa player. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

In the middle of a rocky season, The Bulls showed some consistency against a familiar opponent. 

USF (11-6, 3-1 AAC) won 68-52 against Tulsa on Wednesday night at the Yuengling Center after a tenacious game.

Freshman guard Vittoria Blasigh led the Bulls with a career-high 35 points.

Blasigh became the first Bull in nearly five years to have multiple 30+ point games in one season.

Coach Jose Fernandez said she was “really smooth” in her performance. 

“She’s great to coach, she came here and she knew how we were going to be offensively and how we were going to make her better,” he said.

Blasigh’s 16 first-quarter points helped give South Florida an early six-point lead.

USF and Tulsa have played each other 12 times since their first face-off in the 2014-15 season. The Bulls have won every single one of those matches. 

This win extends the decade-long pattern of domination another year. 

The Golden Hurricane (12-5, 2-2 AAC) scored a three-point jumper with nine seconds left on the clock.

The jumper was executed by Tulsa’s top scorer of the game, junior guard Delanie Crawford. Crawford scored 26 points for her team throughout the match. 

The Bulls held Crawford to just eight points on 33.3% field goal shooting in the second half. 

Tulsa and South Florida moved into the second quarter trading points back and forth. The score gap lessened at the wake of the third quarter.

The Bulls remained a step ahead of the Golden Hurricane throughout the entire game. With around five minutes left in the final frame, South Florida possessed 15 more points than Tulsa.

The Golden Hurricane was not an easy opponent, but the Bulls did not expect them to be. 

Fernandez acknowledged that Tulsa guard Ahrray Young had recently returned from sickness and changed the team dynamic. She scored 20 points in Tulsa’s game against Tulane,  

Young only scored five points and fouled out with five minutes left in the fourth quarter. 

“Tulsa is good. Tulsa has played a very, very good non-conference schedule, and Angie has done a phenomenal job,” Fernandez said, referring to Tulsa’s head coach Angie Nelp.

This pattern continued in the very last minutes of the game. USF and Tulsa exchanged points, however, Tulsa could not score points at a fast enough rate to catch up.

With 44 seconds left on the clock, sophomore wing Carla Brito scored the final points for the Bulls with a fast break layup. 

The layup was assisted by redshirt junior forward Romi Levi, who placed second on the team in scoring with a total of 11 points.

Fernandez also noted the differences in performance between the USF’s matches against Tulsa and Tulane. The Green Wave (7-7, 0-3 AAC) outscored the Bulls 42-29 in the second half.

The Bulls’ consistency will be tested next week when they travel to Texas for their next two games. The team must carry its consistency beyond the home court and prove Wednesday’s match wasn’t a fluke.

I’m proud of the group, especially after how we played those last 20 minutes against Tulane. But we gotta put that behind us,” he said. 

Women’s basketball will travel to Texas to play Rice and UTSA on Sunday at 1 p.m. and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The games will be broadcast on ESPNU and ESPN+.