Feb. 11, 2012
Tampa, Fla.--- In women's basketball action on Saturday, Feb. 11, the Villanova Wildcats traveled to Tampa, Fla., where they lost to the South Florida Bulls by a score of 54-39. With the loss, Villanova falls to 15-10 overall and 5-7 in Big East play, while South Florida improves to 13-13 overall and 5-7 in league play.
The Bulls swarmed the Wildcats right out of the gate. South Florida made four of its first six shots and raced to a 10-0 lead just three and a half minutes into the game. Junior guard Rachel Roberts got the Wildcats on the board with a runner in the lane to make the score 10-2 at the 16:13 mark.
South Florida junior Andrell Smith nailed her second triple of the early going on the next possession to give the Bulls a 13-2 advantage. Villanova answered with five straight points, as junior forward Laura Sweeney made a lay-up off the break and redshirt freshman Lauren Burford connected on a three-point field goal from the corner to pull the Wildcats to within six at 13-7.
Villanova trailed 26-18 with 5:35 to play in the half, when the Wildcats used a mini 5-2 run the rest of the half to cut the Bulls lead to 28-23 at intermission. Villanova shot 30.8 percent from the field in the first half (5-of-12 from three-point range), while South Florida was 10-of-33 from the floor (30.3%), including a 5-of-11 effort from behind the arc.
The Bulls started the second half on an 11-2 run to take a 38-25 lead at the 14:20 mark. Four different South Florida players scored in the spurt. After the Bulls took the 13 point advantage, Villanova did not get within 10 the rest of the way and South Florida cruised to the victory.
In the loss, Burford scored a team-high 11 points for Villanova. Nine of her 11 points came on three-point field goals. Sweeney added nine points and nine rebounds, while redshirt freshman center Emily Leer added seven points and three blocks.
South Florida was led by Smith who poured in a game-high 22 points and grabbed six rebounds. She was 8-of-16 from the field and 4-of-8 from behind the arc.
For the game, Villanova was 15-of-52 from the field (28.8%), 5-of-25 from three-point range (20.0%) and 4-of-6 from the foul line (66.7%), while South Florida shot 36.8 percent from the field (21-of-57), 30.0 percent from three-point range (6-of-20) and 60.0 percent from the charity stripe (6-of-10). The Bulls owned a 42-34 advantage on the backboards. Villanova was charged with 14 turnovers and South Florida had 10 turnovers.
Villanova returns to action on Tuesday, Feb. 14, when the Wildcats host No. 13 Georgetown. Tip-off at The Pavilion is set for 7 p.m.