Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF women deal with winter blizzard

Jose Fernandez vividly remembers Hurricane Andrew in Miami some 20 years ago, being huddled in a closet with his mother and brother as winds blew in the sliding-glass door in their home.

Friday night's massive winter storm seemed familiar to USF's women's basketball coach as he listened to the howling wind from his hotel room while bunkered down in Providence, R.I.

"It was something you couldn't really describe," said Fernandez, whose team flew in Thursday to arrive before the storm. "I felt hurricane winds in my hotel room, howling winds. You looked out, and it was just white. It was like a hurricane with snow."

Saturday morning, the sightseer in him went downstairs, wanting to see the snow piled up, and it was high enough that he couldn't turn the revolving door in the hotel lobby. The Bulls' game at Providence, originally bumped from 2 p.m. Saturday to 7:30 p.m., was shifted again to 1 p.m. Sunday to allow for better cleanup; that meant the Bulls were stuck in a hotel for more than 24 hours leading up to the game.

The Bulls worked out on treadmills and elliptical machines in the Renaissance fitness room; with a limited hotel staff, they ate in five-person shifts.

"It was pretty nuts," Fernandez said.

The Bulls played poorly in the first half ("We sleepwalked," Fernandez said) and held just a 28-23 lead. What followed was like a change of seasons: a dominant second half in which the Bulls shot 61 percent from the field and led by as many as 36 points before closing out an 82-54 rout.

"It was like a racehorse that took off," said Fernandez, whose team is 16-6 and 5-4 in the Big East, needing a strong push in the final seven regular-season games to make a case for the NCAA Tournament.

"Our kids know what's at stake. Our backs are against the wall. We've got to get to 20 wins and finish in the top six in the league to get to the tournament."

The weather woes weren't over for the Bulls, who couldn't fly out of Rhode Island and took a four-hour bus ride to New York, staying overnight and waking up at 5:15 a.m. Monday to fly to Tampa. Landing at 11:30, they practiced 45 minutes later, watched video and sent players home for much-needed rest.

USF had been scheduled to play St. John's in the Sun Dome on Tuesday, but the Big East granted its request to move the game to 4 p.m. today, the early tipoff required to honor a TV commitment.

USF women deal with winter blizzard 02/12/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 9:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  2. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  3. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”
  4. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Souza being Souza.

    That seemed to be the best way to describe the entertaining — and comically bad — dive Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. attempted in Friday's game, and the good humor he showed in handling the fallout, including a standing ovation his next at-bat from the …

    Twitter
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi had to battle without his best stuff again, which is becoming a more common occurrence, leading to long at-bats — including 13 pitches to Kennys Vargas in the fifth — and running up his pitch count to 118 without finishing the sixth.