In the midst of an unusually turbulent season for USF women’s basketball, one newcomer has begun to find her groove.
Junior forward Romi Levy – whose college career has been derailed by injuries – has offensively come alive as the Bulls (12-9, 4-4 AAC) enter the throes of conference play.
“I think that I was waiting this whole time for the moment that the spark was going to come back,” Levy said.
USF’s first American Athle Conference matchup was against SMU on Dec. 30. Since then, Levy has averaged 18.1 points per game – the most on the team during that span.
“I kind of knew it was in me, It’s been there since when I was a kid,” she said during an interview with Bulls Unlimited Radio last Thursday. “It went away for a little bit, but I know I made it to the right place.”
With two consecutive seasons derailed by injury, the journey has not always been easy.
Levy came to USF last March after three years at Auburn. After missing the 2022-23 season due to a knee injury, Levy averaged 6.7 points per game in 14 starts last year. She underwent season-ending knee surgery in February.
She started this season in-and-out of the starting lineup before becoming a permanent fixture on Dec. 16 against North Carolina State.
She’s scored in double-digits in nine of 10 games since then, including a career-high 32 points in a crucial road win over Tulane on Jan. 6.
Levy added 27 points in a narrow loss against North Texas on Jan. 20, and followed that performance with a 21-point outing in a win over East Carolina on Sunday. She shot a combined 54% from the floor in those two games.
Notably, she made a highlight reel bucket against the Pirates – inbounding a pass off the defender’s legs and back to herself for the score. The play stunned the crowd, and ended up on Sportscenter’s Top 10 Plays later that night.
Only being in the program for five months, Bulls coach Jose Fernandez attributes Levy’s breakout play to her being more comfortable in USF’s system.
“I think it’s scary a kid like this has two more years of basketball after this one.” Fernandez said at a postgame press conference. “She’s very, very, talented. She listens. She’s fun to coach.”
A resurgence in her second collegiate program is what she – and the Bulls – need in order to make a push for their fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament bid.
“It just happened. I didn’t really think about anything too much. I got my confidence back,” she said.
Women’s basketball will face Memphis on Thursday at Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+ and Bulls Unlimited.