Tampa, FL -- If tonight's game was a season preview for the University of South Florida women's basketball team, the No. 20 Bulls could be on track to accomplish their Final Four mission.
USF defeated the Jacksonville Dolphins 74-52 in the first round of the Preseason WNIT, led by senior guard Courtney Williams with 34 points and eight rebounds.
Williams put the Bulls' first points of the season on the board, followed by a three-pointer by freshman forward Kitija Laska. These quick baskets set USF in motion to go on a 15-0 run in the first six minutes.
"I give Jacksonville a lot of credit today," USF head coach Jose Fernandez said. "We jumped on them early. Our kids were really excited when we got off to that lead."
The Bulls were able to shoot their way to a 41-25 halftime lead with a 45 percent field goal efficiency.
Jacksonville started changing their defensive schemes in the third quarter, and despite outscoring the Bulls during that time, were never able to reduce their deficit past ten points.
"They beat us in the third quarter," Williams said. "That definitely isn't supposed to happen if we want to get to where we want to go. We got away from what we do at practice. If we stay disciplined and do what we're supposed to do, that wouldn't happen."
Senior forward Alisia Jenkins hit a milestone passing the 1,000th career point mark on a layup, and becoming the 22nd Bull to join the 1,000-point club.
Williams recorded her first 20-plus point game of the season, broke her career high with 18 rebounds, and came within one shot of passing her career-high in points.
"Coach told us that this year we're not the hunters, we're the hunted," Williams said. "We have so many expectations this year. Like he says every day, we're gonna take every team's biggest punch. We gotta keep it moving and play to our best ability."
The Bulls will host Drexel on Sunday at 2 p.m.