No sleeper team: Bulls travel all night after WNIT triumph
In the 14 or so hours after USF sophomore Courtney Williams' game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer in Sunday evening's WNIT quarterfinals at Mississippi State, the Bulls barely slept.
Not that they had a choice.
Adrenalin didn't keep USF's players, coaches and staffers awake nearly as much as the grueling odyssey of bus rides and flight delays that immediately followed their 60-58 triumph.
After addressing the media, showering and changing in Humphrey Coliseum, the Bulls boarded a bus for a two-hour trip north to Memphis, where they had hotel reservations. It's a safe bet many spent the time watching this footage of Williams' game-winning trey.
But no sooner than they unpacked their toiletry bags in Memphis, they were gone, leaving for the airport at 4 a.m.
Upon arriving, they learned their flight would be delayed due to a technical issue. Mark Heise, the Bulls' sports information director for women's hoops, said the team -- and all other passengers -- had to wait for the maintenance person to arrive at the airport to rectify the problem.
They finally departed at 7:30 a.m. CST, arriving back in Tampa at around 10 EST.
They could be back in the air within the next 24 hours. The site and date of the Bulls' semifinal game won't be determined until Bowling Green and Rutgers play in another quarterfinal tonight.
If Bowling Green prevails, Heise and Coach Jose Fernandez say they believe the Eagles would host the semifinal, which could be held as early as Wednesday. A Rutgers win, and they say the Bulls would have an excellent shot at hosting the season's third matchup against the Scarlet Knights.
The WNIT title game is slated for 3 p.m. Saturday, at the home site of one of the participating teams. USF (23-12) is trying to become the first program to win two WNIT championships.