The Bulls, 11-1, had a battle on their hands with Stetson, but were able to rally to win 74 to 60 to close out the 2016 portion of the schedule.
In the first half, the Hatters and Bulls battled it out with USF leading just 31 to 29 at the half. It was a tough battle with the Hatters jumping out to the early leading, forcing the Bulls to battle back. USF shot 39% for the first half compared to a 31% mark for the Hatters. USF led 26 to 20 in the rebounding battle while Maria Jespersen leading the way with 12 points and 7 rebounds.
In the 2nd half, the Bulls were able to pull away from the Hatters and did not allow them to come back. I expected a tough battle, but got a closer one than expected.
For the game the Bulls shot 42% from the floor, but were just 4 for 24 from 3-point range (rusty) while the Hatters shot 34% for the game. USF dominated the paint, out-rebounding the Hatters 55 to 32 and had 42 points in the paint as the size and depth of the Bulls came into play late to help them take this game.
Maria Jepsersen led the Bulls with 26 points and 15 rebounds. Kitija Laksa had 20 points and 5 rebounds. Ariadna Pujol had 8 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists while Laia Flores had 6 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists. Tamara Henshaw, getting another start, had 12 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
Brittney Chambers had 18 points and 3 rebounds to lead the Hatters.
The Bulls will begin conference play next Wednesday as they head to Tulane (game begins 8 PM EST) to begin AAC play. Time to learn from this game, get better, and prepare for the heart of the schedule. Go Bulls!
by Matt Staton
SoFloBulls.com Columnist | @USFMatt
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