TAMPA - The Bulls made their final NCAA tournament statement of the
regular season with authority Monday night.
USF completely dominated Georgetown in a 63-35 victory at
McDonough Arena in Washington, D.C. The Bulls (20-9, 9-7) reached the 20-win
mark with ease after grabbing a 24-8 halftime lead in their regular season finale.
The Bulls won five of their last six road games and now
shift their attention to the Big East tournament. Eighth-seeded USF will face
ninth-seeded Rutgers 2 p.m. Saturday in the second round at the XL Center in
"I think we've shown we can win basketball games on the road
and that's important. We did our job and we have to go to Hartford now and
continue to play good basketball," said head coach Jose Fernandez, who has
posted his fourth 20-win season with the Bulls.
USF will head to the conference tournament with tons of
momentum after dismantling the Hoyas. Freshman guard Courtney
Williams scored 15 of her career-high 18 points in the second half while Andrell
Smith finished with 16 points. Andrea Smith posted 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Inga Orekhova started the game with a 3-pointer and USF went
on a 10-1 run with four points coming from Andrea Smith. The story of the first
half - and the game for that matter - was all about defense as USF went into
the break with a 24-8 lead. Georgetown started 3-for-26 from the field while
the Bulls forced 13 turnovers of their 22 turnovers in the opening period.
"I thought we had a good plan and they executed. We did a
good job in the half court defensively," Fernandez said.
An Andrea Smith 3-pointer gave USF a 35-11 lead with 14:35 remaining
and the Bulls didn't slow down. Andrell Smith's 3-pointer put the Bulls ahead,
61-27, with 5:10 to play while Georgetown shot just 16 percent from the field
Akila McDonald pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds to help USF
dominate on the glass by a 59-41 margin.
Sugar Rodgers scored a game-high 20 points for the Hoyas (14-15,
5-11). No other Georgetown player had more than five points.
The victory proved to be a nice addition to an already
impressive NCAA tournament resume for the Bulls. USF was one of only 17
programs in the nation to beat multiple teams in the Top 25. Before
accomplishing the special feat, USF posted the program's second-best
non-conference record at 11-2.