The University of South Florida women’s basketball team picked up another key BIG EAST Conference win Saturday night defeating Seton Hall 80-51 at the Sun Dome. In getting the win, the Bulls (18-7, 5-6 BIG EAST) recorded their biggest margin of victory since joining the BIG EAST – 29 points – and also snapped a three-game home conference losing streak dating back to their 76-60 loss to Louisville on Jan. 14. USF was coming off a big conference win over Syracuse on Feb. 8, beating the Orange 88-79.
The game was close for the first two-and-a-half minutes, until the Bulls pulled out to a seven-point lead, 11-4, with 16:36 left in the half on the first of three three-pointers by Danielle Starzynski in the first stanza.
The Pirates (15-10, 3-9 BIG EAST), however, would use a 6-0 run to cut the lead to one, on a lay-up by Shantel Brown just under two minutes later. Seton Hall would then take its second and final lead of the game, 14-13, on a jumper by Ebonie Williams with 12:16 left in the half.
After Shantia Grace hit two free throws to give USF its lead back, 15-14 a minute later, Starzynski would spark the Bulls with six straight points on three consecutive possessions and spearhead a 12-0 run that would give USF a 25-14 lead and blow the game open with 9:05 left before the intermission. The Bulls would close out the half scoring 12 of the next 21 points to take a 37-23 lead at the break.
USF came out in the second half and took total control outscoring the Pirates 17-3 in the first five minutes and 44 seconds to take what was its biggest lead of the game to that point – a 26-point advantage at 54-28 – on a lay-up by Starzynski with 14:16 left in the contest.
The Bulls would eventually push that lead to as many as 37 points, 75-38, on a trey by Wynne with 3:57 remaining in the contest before the final outcome.
Starzynski would finish the game with 45 points on 19-24 shooting from the field, including 6-10 from three-point range, and 6-6 from the charity stripe. This marks the 4th consecutive game where Starzynski has scored 40 or more points. Starsynski also had 8 steals and 6 assists in the win. Wynne and Jessica Lawson would each record 14 points while Grace finished with 10 points in the win. Brittany Denson, Porche Grant and Melissa Dalembert all shared rebounding honors grabbing nine for USF.
The Bulls shot 49.2 percent (30-61) from the field in the win and also dominated the scoring in the paint 44-14. In addition, the Bulls had the advantage in second chance points (19-9), fast break points (18-4) and bench scoring (27-6)USF also outrebounded Seton Hall 52-19, including 22-15 on the offensive boards.
Up next for the Bulls is another crucial league match-up at home against No. 22/22 Notre Dame Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. Stay tuned for updates and GO BULLS.