Monday, December 29, 2008

Fernandez Becomes Career Wins Leader With 110-51 Win

University of South Florida head women’s basketball coach Jose Fernandez made history on monday becoming the school’s all-time winningest basketball coach – for both the men’s and women’s program – with the Bulls’ 110-51 win over Jackson State at the Sun Dome. Fernandez improved his career coaching record to 128-124 and in doing so surpassed former men’s coach Bobby Paschal who guided the men’s basketball team to 127 wins in 10 seasons. In addition, USF (12-1) stretched their winning streak to eight games while also improving its record home winning streak to 12 games dating back to last season. The Bulls’ 12-1 start is the best in school history.

USF used its momentum coming off of a commanding 100-47 victory last Sunday over Southern University just before the Christmas break. The Bulls made no doubt that they were going to take control of the game and not let go as they proceeded to score a record 73 points in the first half while holding the Lady Tigers to just 22. The Green and Gold have scored 60 points in a half three time this season. During the first half onslaught, the Bulls had two players – Jazmine Sepulveda and Danielle Starzynski – score 21 and 20 points respectively just shy of Jackson State’s 22-point total. Sepulveda finished the game with 26 points along with four assists. She also grabbed three steals in the win. It was Sepulveda’s 10th game this season scoring in double figures out of 13 games on the year. Starzynski finished the game with 24 points and 7 steals. Starzynski has scored double figures in every game so far this season. Janae Stokes finished with 20 points on 7-12 shooting, including a blistering 6-10 from three-point range. She also came away with five rebounds and four assists. Defensively, Porche Grant was a factor on the glass with nine rebounds, Dalembert finished with five and Brittany Denson had seven. The team also forced 27 turnovers on the afternoon leading to 41 points and had 14 steals.

Up next for USF is a trip to New Orleans for its non-conference finale to take on Tulane on Dec 30 at 8 p.m. (EST). The Bulls will open BIG EAST play on Jan. 3 when they face Marquette in Milwaukee at 8 p.m. (EST/7 p.m. (CST) . As always stay tuned for your USF Bulls updates. Until then, GO BULLS!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bulls Continue Rolling With Four Game Win Streak

The University of South Florida Women's basketball team is off to it's best start in school history with their newly acquired 11-1 record. The Bulls are on a 7 game winning streak while still remaining undefeated at home. On Sunday, Nov. 14th the Bulls took on in-state foe University of North Florida dominating the game in a 90-44 win. The Bulls scored 90 points for the sixth time in 9 games this season, while holding the opposition to fewer than 50 points for the fourth time this year. The big story however, was USF on the defensive side of the floor. The Bulls forced the Lady Osprey (2-5) into a season high 39 turnovers marking the fifth time this season that USF has forced it’s foe into 30 or more miscues. Danielle Starzynski led on the defensive end with a season high 11 steals, while Jazmine Sepulveda chipped in with 5. The Bulls would take a 41-22 lead into the locker room at the break and never look back from there. They shot a blistering 62.5 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes of the game. Sepulveda led the Bulls offense with 24 points, while Starzynski followed behind with 19 points. Ashley Anderson also added 12 points and 7 assists in the win.

On thursday Dec. 18th, the Bulls then took on Grambling State and ended up turning in a record setting performance in a 126-62 victory. Janae Stokes led four players in double figures with 39 points, including 25 points in the second half. Danielle Starzynski scored 27 points, and Shantia Grace and Jazmine Sepulveda each added 14 points in the win. Porche Grant grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. The Bulls, who came into the game averaging 87.9 points per game which was second in the nation behind BIG EAST foe Connecticut (92.4), made no doubt early that they were in control scoring six points in the in the first minute of the game and forcing the Lady Tigers to use one of their five timeouts. Grambling (2-6) would cut the lead to five points (8-3), but USF would blow the game open running out to a 60-33 lead at the intermission. After shooting 53.7 percent it didn’t look like the Bulls could shoot any better in the second half. USF, however, would hit 64.9 percent of their shots in the second half and finished the contest shooting 59 percent from the floor. The Bulls would hit the century mark – for the third time this season, which is the first time in school history that they accomplished the feat – when Starzynski hit the two free throws with 9:36 left in the game to give USF a 100-52 lead. In the end, the Bulls’ 126 points turned out to be the most scored in a Division I game this season, while also setting a new school mark surpassing their previous best of 124 originally set against Morris Brown on Nov. 30, 2002.

On Saturday Dec. 20th, the Bulls were back in action in their 2nd game in 3 days, taking on Northern Arizona. It's been a long week for these girls so you’ll have to excuse them if they came out a bit sluggish to start the game off. Unfortunately, for Northern Arizona, USF was still good enough to defeat the Lumberjacks, 82-43, in a non-conference game at the Sun Dome.
“I thought we played uninspired basketball today,” said Bulls’ head coach Jose Fernandez. “I can’t put my finger on it, but we just seemed to be going through the motions. We had 18 turnovers today, and of the 18, nine came from our post players. We just can’t have that. We need to protect the basketball. We need to come out tomorrow afternoon against Southern and play well.” Despite the Bulls handing 13 of their 18 miscues over to NAU in the first half, USF forced Northern Arizona (3-9) into 18 miscues in the first stanza which led to 18 of its 45 first half points. The Bulls dominated the first 20 minutes finding themselves up by 20 points, 26-6, with 10:02 left on a Jazmine Sepulveda lay-up off a Danielle Starzynski steal.
USF took a 45-19 lead into the locker room at the break after shooting 42.1 percent from the field and holding the Lumberjacks to 25 percent from the floor. USF would extend its lead to as many as 41 points in the second half when Janae Stokes scored two of her 13 points on a jumper with 7:15 remaining. The Bulls would equal that margin one more time prior to the final buzzer.
The Lumberjacks would finish the game with 35 turnovers leading to 38 points and shot 30.5 percent from the field, including a dismal 11.1 percent from behind the three-point arc, in the loss. USF finished shooting 40.3 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from behind the arc.
Starzynski led the Bulls with 17 points while Stokes had her 13 and Ashley Anderson chipped in with 10 points.

On Sunday, Dec. 21st, in the Bulls' last and most recent game University of South Florida head women’s basketball coach Jose Fernandez tied Bobby Paschal for the most wins by a USF basketball coach in school history – men’s or women’s – with a 100-47 triumph over Southern University at the Sun Dome. The win, the sixth straight for the Bulls, raised their record to 11-1 marking the best start in the program’s history. Fernandez raised his career record to 127-124 in eight-plus years (251 games). Should USF defeat it’s next opponent, Jackson State, on Sunday, Dec. 28 (2 p.m.) he would surpass Paschal who guided the men’s basketball team to 127 wins in 10 seasons (286 games). Shantia Grace led six players in double figures with 21 points while Danielle Starzynski added 19, and Jazmine Sepulveda and Ashley Anderson each added 12 points in the win. Brittany Denson and Janae Stokes also chipped in with 11 points a piece. On the afternoon, USF shot 46.7 percent from the field while holding the Jaguars to 29.2 percent in the loss. The Bulls will take a break for Christmas before returning to face Jackson State on Sunday, December 28th at the Sun Dome. As always stay tuned for more updates and GO BULLS!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bulls Dominate FIU, 99-71, For Third Straight Win

The University of South Florida women’s basketball team continued their momentum after two impressive wins in the Paradise Jam tournament in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands with a 99-71 victory over Florida International (1-6). The victory moved the Bulls to 7-1 on the season, and they are undefeated at home.

After a somewhat slow start for the Bulls in the first half, they were able to blow the game wide open in the second stanza with some key offense by Danielle Starzynski. Starzynski finished the night with 32 points. She finished the game shooting 17 of 21 from the field, including 5-7 from behind the three-point arc, and 5-5 from the free throw line.

Also recording a career-high was Jazmine Wynne with 20 points surpassing her previous high of 16.

The Bulls came out on fire during the second half with two threes by Sepulveda and one by Starzynski in the first 1:55 of the second half. USF, ultimately would put the game out of reach by scoring 41 points in just under 12 minutes, outscoring the Golden Panthers 41-23 from the beginning of the second stanza to the 8:16 mark to make the score 81-56.

FIU’s leading scorer, Monica Bosilj, was held to just five points during the game. Bosilj came into the game averaging 16.7 points per outing and was coming off a 32-point game against No. 15/16 Auburn.

Also in double digits for the Bulls were Shantia Grace and Ashley Anderson, netting 16 and 14 points respectively.

On the night, USF shot 52.8 percent (38-72) from the field, including 47.4 percent (9-19) from behind the three-point arc, which were both season highs. In addition, the Bulls’ 59 second-half points are the fifth most scored in a single half in the program’s history.

Tonight’s game also marked the third time this season that the Bulls have forced their opponents into 30 or more turnovers, and the seventh time this season that their foe’s have logged 26 or more m miscues. The Golden Panthers has 32 turnovers on the night which led to 39 points. Starzynski led the way with 8 steals.

The Bulls will have a breather before their next game when they take on North Florida on Dec. 14 at 3 pm. As always keep reading and stay tuned for the lates USF Bulls women's basketball action. Go Bulls!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bulls Have Successful Trip to St. Thomas During Paradise Jam

The women's USF Bulls basketball team traveled to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands this past week in hopes of making a name for themselves against some tough competition in the Paradise Jam tournament. For the most part i think the ladies did just that, despite suffering their first loss on the season. On thursday, Nov. 27th Thanksgiving day, the Bulls tipped things off with a matchup against No. 3 ranked California. The girls knew that this would be one of the stiffest tests of the season for them and would be a pretty good measuring stick for life in the Big East this year. Well, the Bulls, who had been averaging 98.5 points per game and giving up just 46.2 points per contest in their first four games, found out just how good the Golden Bears were as they suffered in an 85-55 setback at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports & Fitness Center. The Bulls shot a season low 28.6% from the floor and were forced into 12 turnovers. They could not seem to find a rythm on either end of the floor throughout the game. The second half looked a little bit more promising but could not overcome the huge deficit. Jazmine Sepulveda scored 11 points while Shantia Grace added 10 points in the loss. Porche Grant grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Sophomore Danielle Starzynski who had been out due to a back injury entered the game in the 4th quarter in hopes of turning things around for her team but it seemed to be a little too late. Starzynski finished with 16pts and 4 steals on the night, impressive for just one quarter of play.

The Bulls came into Friday night's contest with Iowa looking to get back on track after being humbled by Califronia the previous night in the first game of the Paradise Jam. And get back on track is what USF did in an 82-79 overtime gut-check win over Iowa in back of 27 points from Shantia Grace and 21 points off the bench from an injured Danielle Starzynski. The Bulls (5-1), who looked like a totally different team after their game last night, found itself with an early 4-3 lead on a three-pointer by Grace just under two minutes into the contest. The Hawkeyes (4-2), however, would find their offense and use an 11-3 run from Grace’s trey to the 15:19 mark which was capped by a Megan Skouby jumper to give Iowa a 14-6 edge. USF would get back in to the contest cutting the lead to one, 20-19 on a lay up by Alexis Givands off a Starzynski steal with 8:09 left in the half. After an Iowa miss and a Sepulveda rebound, Grace would hit a lay up to give the Bulls just their second lead of the game, 21-20, with just over eight minutes remaining in the first stanza. USF would push the lead to as many as eight points, and eventually take a 44-40 lead into the locker room at the intermission. The second half saw both teams coming out and not wanting to take control. Neither team led by more than four points – with that being USF holding a 53-49 lead with 13:35 left in regulation – through the first nine minutes of the second stanza. The Bulls would make the first move when Starzynski hit a three-pointer with 10:04 left to give USF a 61-56 lead. USF would get the lead to a game-high 12 points, 68-56, with 8:11 left on a lay up by Sepulveda. Iowa then put it’s own run together closing the final 7:46 on a 16-6 run capped by Wendy Ausdenmore’s trey with three seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 74-all. Grace had a desperation shot from just inside half court that fell short. The Bulls took control in the extra session outscoring the Hawkeyes 8-5 en route to the win. Grace would finish shooting 6-21 from the field, including 5-10 from three-point range, and 10-15 from the free-throw line. She also had three rebounds, three steals and two assists in 38 minutes. Starzynski led the Bulls with 24 points, 6 steals and 5 assists on the night. On the night, USF shot 37.1 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from behind the arc. Once again it also caused havoc on the defensive side forcing Iowa into 27 turnovers which lead to 28 points for the Bulls.

On Saturday night the Bulls played their final game of the three-day Paradise Jam event in St. Thomas and took another step with an impressive 71-61 win over Texas Tech. Danielle Starzynski came off her 24-point performance friday night to lead the Bulls in scoring against Texas Tech with 19 points, while Shantia Grace and Janae Stokes each added 13 points in the victory. Brittany Denson chipped in with 12 points.

“This was a tremendous win for our basketball team,” said USF head coach Jose Fernandez. “We had a very successful trip here to the Paradise Jam and couldn’t be more thrilled with us coming out with a 2-1 record. Now we need to keep the intensity up when we get back to Tampa and get ready for Florida International on Friday night and then we take a week off for exams.”

USF (6-1), who led for all of the first half except for three ties and two times when the Red Raiders (4-3) took one point leads, would lead by as many as five in the first stanza but could not shake Texas Tech. The Bulls would take a 31-29 lead into the locker room at the intermission. In the second half, the Red Raiders would take what would be, at that time, their largest lead of the game, three points (37-34) on a Dominic Seals jumper with 16:14 remaining in the contest.
Starzynski would immediately get the lead back, 38-37, hitting a driving lay up with 14:47 left, and then Grant stole the inbounds pass and hit a lay up with 14:44 left to give USF a three –point advantage, 40-37. The Bulls pushed the lead to five points, 43-38, on a three-pointer by Stokes with 13:47 remaining. Texas Tech, however, would score 16 of the next 23 points to take it’s biggest lead of the evening, 54-50, on shot from behind the arc from Keisha Walker with 8:08 left. USF may have bent but they would not break, closing the final eight minutes of the contest on a 21-7 run to put the game out of reach. On the night, the Red Raiders shot 44.9 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from behind the three-point arc, while the Bulls were just 36.8 percent from the floor and 31.6 percent from three-point range. One area that USF did shine in on the offensive end of the floor was the free throw line hitting 79.3 percent of its shots. With that said, the Bulls solely won this game on the defensive end of the floor. For the sixth time in its seven games this season, USF forced its opposition into more than 26 turnovers, as the Red Raiders recorded 27 miscues on the night which led to 25 points. Starzynski led the way with 7 steals.

The Bulls would leave the island with a 2-1 record, proving themselves a force to be reckoned with once Big East action begins in January. Following their return to Tampa, the Bulls will have a week to prepare for their match-up with Florida International on Friday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. in the Sun Dome. Stay tuned and we'll keep you updated as always. Go Bulls!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bulls Pull Off a Close One Against Wagner

The South Florida women’s basketball team defeated Wagner in a close matchup here in Tampa on Sunday afternoon. The Bulls (4-0) seemed to struggle a bit having to come back from as big as a 13 poiunt deficit in sunday's game. This was the first time all season that the bulls had been losing at any point in a game. In the fourth quarter the ladies seemed to find a way to pull away though, shooting 56% from the floor. Despite their fourth quarter effort they ended up winning by only 3 after 2 free throws from Jasmine Sepulveda sealed the game with 6 seconds left.

Senior Shantia Grace (Sarasota, FL) scored a career-high 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the floor and a perfect 7-for-7 effort at the foul line. Freshman Jasmine Wynn (Jacksonville, FL) also posted a personal best with 21 points to go along with eight rebounds.

Also in double figures for the Hall were senior Jasmine Sepulveda with 12 points, while classmate Melissa Dalembert added 11 points and seven boards. The Bulls were without their leading scorer Danielle Starzynski due to a back injury that benched her and reportedly the team is taking it day by day. No word on when she will be back in action, hopefully soon because her 28ppg will be needed in some tough upcoming matchups. Casey Stokes led the Seahawks (2-1) with 14 points.

The Bulls finished with a 41-34 edge on the glass and scored 26 points off 29 Wagner turnovers. USF connected on 47.1 percent from the floor and 50.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Bulls travel to St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands on Tuesday for the Paradise Jam Nov. 27-29. They will open the event on thanksgiving night at 8:30pm when they butt heads with No. 3 California. They will also face Iowa on Nov. 28th at 6pm, and Texas Tech on Nov. 28th at 6pm. Keep reading and we'll be sure to keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bulls Win 3rd in a Row With 103-55 Win Over Stetson

The University of South Florida women’s basketball team continued to display its offensive fire power early on this season hitting the century mark for the second time in three games this year in a dominating 103-55 win over in-state foe Stetson tonight at the Sun Dome. The Bulls improve its record to 3-0, to start the season, for the third time in the past four years. USF had 3 players in double figures led by Danielle Starzynski's game high 41 points--a career high for the new USF bull recruit. Shantia grace got back on track netting 19 points while Jazmine Sepulveda added 13 points in the win. Once again, USF had a balanced attack in all aspects of the game. For the third straight contest the Bulls placed 10 of the 11 players that saw action in the scoring column, with eight of the 10 netting eight or more points. USF also dominated the glass outrebounding Stetson 58-33 while nine of the 10 players that saw time grabbing multiple rebounds. The defensive attack also continued as USF held Stetson to just 37.1 percent (23-62) shooting from the field on the night and forced them into 26 turnovers in the loss. Starzynski led the way with 7 steals. With about 4:20 left in the 4th quarter though Starzynski hit the ground on a hard foul and stayed down for a few moments worrying many Bulls fans. She eventually got up and went to th ebunch but never returned to the game. Starzynski reportedly suffered a back injury and is having tests done on it to determine the problem. No word on when she'll be back in action. After playing three games in four days, the Bulls will get a much needed rest until Coppin State visits the Sun Dome on Sunday at 2 p.m. The contest will mark the fourth and final game of a four-game season opening home stand for USF. As always keep reading and we will keep you posted. GO BULLS!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Women's Hoops Roll in Victorious Weekend and Take Tourney Title

The weekend looked to be a very succesfull one for the lady Bulls as they blew past competition in both of their tourney games on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday the Bulls took on Central Connecticut State in the first round. The bulls were in control for the entire game, coming out with a 30-9 start through the first 8:30. After that point they never looked back and ended up defeating Central Connecticut 100-63. USF shot 56.8% (21 of 37) from the field in the first half en route to a commanding 53-18 lead at halftime. The bulls got 16 of Danielle Starzynski's 33 points in the first half, while Jazmine Sepulveda netted 9 points in the first 30 minutes. USF's defense was just as impressive, holding Central Connecticut to just 22.6% shooting from the field and forcing 16 first half turnovers. Starzynski led the way with 8 steals on the defensive end. In the 2nd half everyone became involved in the action with other Bulls players like Jasmine Wynne scoring 15 points and registering 7 assists. Melissa Dalembert also finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. The high scorer of the game was Starzynski with 33 points.

On Sunday's game the Bulls then took on Loyola in the finals of the USF shootout. Early on in the game things didn't look very promising for the girls as they came out cold missing the first seven shots and not scoring a point until Danielle Starzynski it a jumper about three and a half minutes into the contest. Loyola hung around for a majority of the first eight minutes until the Bulls used a 13-2 run started by Starzynski's 3 pointer with 11:31 left and ending with a layup of an assist by Starzynski with 7:57 left. The bulls then took a 53-22 lead into the half. USF never looked back from there, dominating the rest of the game and seeming to finally get hot finishing at 56.3% from the field. The Bulls put up another 41 additional points in the 2nd half, leading by as many as 48 at the final buzzer. Five Bulls players ended up in double figures, led by Starzynski who had a tremendous game with 39 points on 16 of 21 shooting and also recorded 9 steals, 3 blocks, and 5 asissts. Jazmine Sepulveda added 14 points, Janae Stokes and Melissa Dalembert each added 13, and Shantia Grace added 12. Starzynski and Sepulveda were named to the All-Tournament team. For the 2nd straight game, the Bulls forced their opponent into over 30 turnovers and ending with only nine of their own in the win. The bulls now have a 2-0 record as they have a quick turnaround and get back to work on Tuesday, Nov. 18th 7pm against instate foe Stetson. The Bulls are off to a very promising start and we look forward to seeing what the rest of the season has in store. As always, we'll keep you posted. GO BULLS!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bulls Gearing Up for Season Opener

The USF women's basketball team has been preparing for this moment for a grueling number of months. Since the summer the team has been in the gym working out their blood, sweat, and tears all leading up to this opening game. It has been far from eazy, but the girls are all hoping that the pain and hard work will pay off for them this season. The Bulls open up the 2008-2009 regular season this Saturday against Central Connecticut in the first round of the USF shootout. Tipoff is slated for 5pm. This will be the moment when we all see just how much of a reward the Bulls will get for their dedication they've shown throughout the past few months. Last year the ladies hopes were cut short as they were eliminated in the first round of the NCAA tournament. This year they are hoping for a better, much longer run.

With a few new recruits added to the roster, newly hired coach Jose Fernandez thinks his girls have a good chance. "Coming in and being the new guy around here is never easy but the girls have made it a very pleasant time for me and have showed me just how much work they have been putting in. They seem very determined to go far and succeed this season and they're looking great as a team. We have a solid returning class and also some new additions who have been really showing themselves in practice so i think they're ready to make an impact right away. Jasmine Wynn and Danielle Starzynski are the two that i'm really looking forward to seeing on the court this season because i think they have the capability to take this team to new lengths. Both of them have performed exceptionally well in practices and our 2 exhibition games so i think they're more than ready to play this year. I'm looking forward to seeing how this season pans out and hopefully we come out on top."

Coach Fernandez seems to be very optimistic about this upcoming season and i know all our Bulls fans out there are as well. In the first 2 exhibition games, the Bulls blew out their opponents by 24 and 27 points respectively. In those 2 games the standout performers were Sepulveda and Starzynski. Sepulveda scored 15 and 22 points in the two matchups and Starzynski scored 37 and 24 along with coming away with 7 steals in both games. The future looks promising for this squad and lets all hope that in March we all will have something to cheer about. Until then stay tuned to your number 1 blogspot for USF women's basketball. As always we will keep you updated with upcoming games and results.