USF swept the Junkanoo Jam Lucaya Division tournament over the Thanksgiving break, beating UNC and Georgia to push their record to 4-0 on the season. It was an impressive tournament for the young Bulls.
In the first game on Thursday, the Bulls won 83 to 55 over UNC to improve their record to 3-0. The Bulls shot 46% for the game while holding UNC to a 31% mark from the field. USF dominated the rebounding battle at 53 to 21 which was a good thing because the Bulls turned the ball over 20 times compared to 11 for the Tar Heels.
Kitija Laksa went off for the Bulls, scoring 34 points (6 for 10 from 3-point range( and added 10 rebounds. Ariadna Pujol, coming off of a career night before the tournament, rewrote her own history with 26 points and 7 rebounds. Laia Flores had 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Maria Jespersen added 8 points and 10 rebounds. Tamara Henshaw pulled down 8 rebounds. Laura Ferreira continues to play some, adding 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists in this game. Paris Kea had 20 points and 4 rebounds to lead UNC. After beating UNC, the Bulls took on Georgia in the tournament championship (Lucuya Division).
The Bulls dominated Georgia in the second game, winning 81 to 65. USF led only 34 to 31 at the half, but were out-rebounding the Bulldogs. USF shot 44% for the game overall while winning the rebounding battle in the end at 39 to 28.
Pujol again played well, totaling 23 points and adding 3 rebounds. She has really stepped up her game and its been fun to watch early in the year. Kitija Laksa had another monster game, totaling 34 points (8 for 13 from 3-point range) and added 2 rebounds and 2 steals. Laia Flores added 12 points, 8 assists, and 3 rebounds.
Laura Ferreira added 5 minutes in 22 minutes of floor time. Maria Jespersen added 3 points and 5 rebounds. Tamara Henshaw had 3 points and 9 boards. It was another solid game from start to finish for this team.
The Bulls will return home to host FIU on Wednesday night (game begins at 7 PM) as they get back to Tampa. I’m curious to see if they are ranked before this next game. After watching these two games over the weekend, they deserve it.
by Matt Staton
SoFloBulls.com Columnist | @USFMatt
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