USF fell 73 to 68 to Long Beach State in the Play4Kay Tournament opener, dropping the Bulls to 8-1 on the season in an upset. Turnovers, sharp shooting from Long Beach State, and bad turnovers hurt the Bulls in this game.
The Bulls started the first half of the game slow, but were able to take a double digit lead, only to have it fall single digits, 36 to 33, at the break. USF went through a few stretches where they could not find a basket, allowing Long Beach State to come back and make it a game. It was frustrating, but USF did have the slight lead at the half.
The Bulls shot 43% from the floor but were just 3 for 11 from 3-point range. The Bulls were also down 13 to 21 in rebounds and had 6 turnovers. Again, it was close, but the Bulls had the lead. However, in the second half, the turnovers caught up to the Bulls.
For the second half, the Bulls struggled to get the offense going. Overall, they shot 41% from the field but were 8 for 26 from 3-point range. On the flip side, Long Beach State shot 47% for the game and were hitting a 66% mark from 3-point range in the third quarter, allowing them to take the lead. USF won the rebounding battle at 38 to 31, but the turnovers piled up on them again. 17 of them hurt along with as wel,l as let’s just call it “questionable,” foul calls down the stretch.
Kitija Laksa had 18 points (6 for 13 from 3-point range) and 2 rebounds. Maria Jespersen had 16 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out. Laia Flores had 17 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Ariadna Pujol had 6 points (0 for 6 from the field), 7 rebounds, and 8 assists before fouling out as well. Dorottya Nagy had 6 points and 4 rebounds off the bench.
Madison Montgomery had 19 points and 3 rebounds to lead Long Beach State.
The Bulls will play the winner of the Oklahoma State vs. Santa Clara game tomorrow at 12:30 PM (PST). Time to regroup after this, clean up the mistakes, and get back in the win column tomorrow. On to the next!
by Matt Staton
SoFloBulls.com Columnist | @USFMatt
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