The #23 / 22 USF women’s basketball team posted their first win of the season over the LSU Tigers, 61-55 on Friday night, the first game of a USF doubleheader.  The unranked Tigers (also receiving votes) gave USF a fight for four quarters. 

Despite the solid challenge, LSU had a lead for less than three minutes during the entire game, all of which came in the first quarter of play.  A three point shot by USF forward, Maria Jespersen, ended the lead for the Tigers with 4:36 remaining in the first quarter.  They tie a couple of times, but the Bulls would not fall behind again in the game, leading by as much as 11 points in the third quarter.

Jespersen and LSU guard, Chloe Jackson, posted great games.  Jackson scored 21 points with seven rebounds to lead her team, which had only one other person scoring in double digits.  Fellow guard, Raigyne Louis scored 11 before fouling out. 

Jesperson scored 20 with nine rebounds, barely missing a double-double.  Kitija Laksa, guard, was second on the team in scoring, with 16 points.  She also had nine rebounds.  Rebounds were key for the Bulls, who outrebounded LSU, 47-39.  Ten of those rebounds were courtesy of wing, Laura Ferreira, who also scored seven points.

After the win, USF head coach, Jose Fernandez expressed disappointment.  “I frankly, did not think we could shoot that poorly,” he said.  “It was not a very pretty basketball game.”

Fernandez did give credit to his opponent, though.  “That was a good atmosphere.  You know, LSU is a very good basketball team.  That’s an NCAA tournament game to open up on night one.”

After a moment of reflection, he said, “We move on.  Figure out if we want to shoot with that game ball again.  I don’t know.”

When asked if it was just opening night jitters, Fernandez responded, “I didn’t have the jitters.”

Up next for LSU is a home game against Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday.  They start the season a disappointing 0-1, but will have plenty of time to rebound, without another ranked team appearing on their schedule for the remainder of the season.

The Bulls will have lighter competition to make whatever adjustments are in order.  Their next opponent, also on Sunday, is Houston Baptist.  That game has a 2:00 PM tipoff at the Sun Dome.


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