USF women show depth in exhibition win
I didn't go out to the Sun Dome for Saturday's women's basketball exhibition between USF and the Miami Sun -- we'll cover Wednesday's exhibition instead -- but I didn't have to be there to see a good sign of progress, simply because the Bulls won.
See, a year ago, it was ominous that USF opened with a 65-63 loss to the same barnstorming team, the first action in a disappointing 16-16 season. On Saturday, the Bulls won easily, using 11 players in a 91-67 rout that saw five USF players scoring in double figures.
Jose Fernandez has talked about his newfound depth in the backcourt, how much better his team might be with starters Shantia Grace and Jazmine Sepulveda each playing 32-35 minutes a game instead of 39-40. They only had to play 26 and 24 on Saturday, allowing Fernandez a good look at the new faces behind them.
Junior Janae Stokes had 13 points in 17 minutes and freshman Jasmine Wynne scored 12 in just 13 minutes, suggesting both can help take the scoring load off Grace. Sepulveda had eight turnovers, but it's a first game after just two weeks of practice, so there's naturally some rust to be removed. Reserves Ashley Sanders and Allyson Speed, who are both recovering from injuries, were able to play a combined 14 minutes, so they're making progress.
Fernandez will use a rotation of four players in the frontcourt -- Brittany Denson and Porche Grant had 11 rebounds each, leading the Bulls to a ridiculous 52-33 edge on the boards. Jessica Lawson, hoping to improve on a wildly up-and-down season a year ago, had as many fouls (4) as points in just 17 minutes.
Here's the game story on USF's official site ... we'll be blogging live from the men's exhibition Tuesday night.