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No. 20 USF Bulls slay the Dragons behind Alisia Jenkins

Alisia Jenkins was within one rebound of tying USF’s single-game defensive rebounding record, as she carried the Bulls to a 73-58 win over Drexler. USF will advance to the WNIT Semifinals to play against the winner of No. 4 Baylor vs. Southern Miss.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa, FL -- The No. 20 University of South Florida Bulls defeated the Drexel Dragons 73-58 during the preseason WNIT second round, where the teams played each other for the first time in program history.

"Defensively I feel like we followed the game plan a little bit better than we did last game," senior guard Courtney Williams said.

Compared to Friday's home-opener against Jacksonville, the Bulls only had 10 turnovers and six personal fouls.

The Dragons, led by head coach Denise Dillon - a product of Villanova coach Harry Perretta - played a zone offense that USF struggled to keep up with around the perimeter. Drexler shot 36 percent from beyond the arc in the first half, hitting seven total three-pointers.

"I think they hit some really tough shots especially late in the shot clock. And those are the toughest, when you defend for 24-25 seconds," USF head coach Jose Fernandez said. "Those 7 that they hit, some of them were bombs with a contested hand."

Senior forward Alisia Jenkins kept the Bulls in the game with 13 points and 15 rebound double-double first half performance.

"That's what she does. I mean it's exceptional." Fernandez said. "I think that's a reason why she's first team all-conference and why she's being talked about at a national level."

The Dragons three-point shooting kept them in the contest during the third quarter, before USF went on a 10-0 run to take a 57-51 lead.

By the end of the fourth quarter, the Dragons lost their rhythm. They went 0-for-7 from the three-point range and were completely shut out from scoring during the final 6:59 seconds.

"I thought the last 6 minutes of the game we really defended," Fernandez said. "We just went small and switched everything."

On offense, the Bulls secured the win from the free throw line. They converted six of their nine free throws, the most of any quarter.

USF pulled away with a 73-58 win, being carried by Jenkins who finished with 16 points and 21 rebounds. She came within one rebound of tying Wanda Guyton's single-game defensive rebounds record (16). Williams led the team in points with 21 on the night.

"We definitely need rest," Williams said. "We played two games in three games, so that's tough."

The Bulls will play against the winner of No. 4 Baylor vs. Southern Miss on Nov. 19 in the WNIT Semifinals.