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February 9, 2013

Bulls Play Weather-Altered Game at Friars

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The third time may be the charm for the South Florida women's basketball team.

In what was originally a matinee matchup that has since been pushed back due to inclement weather, the USFBulls (15-6, 4-4) will take on the Providence Friars (7-15, 2-7) Sunday at 1 p.m at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.

The game was originally scheduled for Saturday at 2 PM, was postponed to 7:30 PM and rescheduled for today at 1 PM Both the Bulls and the Friars are looking for a second straight win, a USF victory would be its fourth in five games. This is the only time these two squads will meet this season.

Three Keys to the Game:

  1. The Bulls must make sure that they capitalize on the Friars' 322nd ranked three-point field goal defense with their 56th ranked three-point field goals per game (6.4 per game).
  2. Composure is a must for USF if they hope to get over the .500 hump in the Big East, as the team commits an average of 17.7 personal fouls per game.
  3. Protect the ball at all times - Providence's Symone Roberts is ninth in the country in steals per game with an average of 3.5.

The Matchup

Providence has struggled mightily season, particularly in Big East conference play where they are just 2-7. However, the Friars will be carrying over momentum from their second in-conference win over Pittsburgh; the game went into double overtime and ended with Providence pulling out an 85-83 victory over the Panthers. The Friars are also productive at the free throw line (71.5% accuracy), which is an asset against a team that commits as many fouls as the Bulls do.

USF comes in with a better record and as the all-around better team. The Bulls are in the top ten percent nationally in many different categories: scoring offense (72.4 points per game), scoring margin (13.6 points), rebound margin (6.5), blocked shots per game (5), steals per game (11.7), and turnover margin (4.67). They're also coming off a dominant 78-60 win over Pittsburgh and have had nearly a week to rest since.

Players to Watch

The Smith sisters continue to work their magic for the Bulls, scoring a combined total of 65 points and contributing to over 42% of USF's total point production in the past two games alone. Andrea Smith continues to lead the team in scoring with an average of 17.6 per game, while Andrell Smith leads the team in assists (4.6 per game) and steals (2.52 per game). They are the two players that will make or break this Bulls team heading into March.

Despite Providence's struggles, the program boasts a national standout in junior guard Symone Roberts. She's established herself as a dual threat for the Friars, leading the team in points scored as well as in steals (a category in which she is also ranked within the top ten in the country). Roberts will be on a mission to stop the impressive offense consistently produced by the Smith sisters as well as put a few points of her own on the board.

The game can be heard on 1010-AM and seen on BullsCast at GoUSFBulls.com



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