Injury-depleted USF women add Latvian star to roster

The enrollment of 5-foot-11 freshman Luize Septe had been delayed for a semester
USF women's coach Jose Fernandez (center), has seen his roster depleted by injuries this season. [Times files]
USF women's coach Jose Fernandez (center), has seen his roster depleted by injuries this season. [Times files]
Published Dec. 30, 2018|Updated Dec. 30, 2018

The most injury-besieged program on USF's campus finally has caught a timely break.

Heralded 5-foot-11 Latvian recruit Luize Septe, who signed with the Bulls in the offseason but wasn't immediately admitted into the university, now is enrolled and has been added to the Bulls' depleted roster, the school announced Sunday morning.

Septe is eligible to practice and play immediately, and is with the team in Baton Rouge, where it faces LSU today at 4 p.m. (SEC Network). The news comes six days before USF (9-4) opens American Athletic Conference play at Temple, and eight days before the spring semester begins at USF.

The Bulls, on a two-game losing streak, have been limited to nine healthy players recently. Top scorer and All-America candidate Kitija Laksa was lost for the year to a torn ACL in mid-November, freshman PG Elisa Pinzan has been slowed by an unspecified injury, and SG Vanessa Blagmon left the team days before the season opener.

Related: Under-staffed USF women win third in a row

Septe, deemed a five-star recruit by Passion Hoops and Blue Star Europe, should help fill the backcourt void immediately.

She averaged 10.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and two assists for TTT Riga, the same Latvian club team that produced Laksa. In 2017, she played for Latvia's under-18 national team in the European Championship, averaging eight points, five boards and two assists.

She was among 20 players invited to try out for her country's senior national team, which — behind Laksa — qualified for the FIBA Basketball World Cup in September.