Tampa, FL - With all the youth and new faces on the University of South Florida women’s basketball team, it was a battle tested sixth-year senior that led the Bulls tonight to a 80-42 win over instate foe Stetson tonight at the Sun Dome, and improving the team to 2-1 on the year.
Although she didn’t lead the team in scoring on the night, Porche Grant, who played in her first game since the Women’s National Invitation Tournament championship game against Kansas tonight, gave the Bulls the lift it needed, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in 23 minutes for her sixth career double-double, and her 21st career double figure rebounding game. She also added two steals, and blocked shot and an assist.
The Bulls got off to a slow start hitting just 33.3 percent (4-12) of their shots from the field through the first 11-plus minutes, while the Hatters shot at a 50 percent (6-12) clip and held a 13-9 lead with 11:47 left in the half.
USF would tie the game three times after that at 15, 17, and 19-all before Grant scored her first basket of the game on a layup with 5:16 remaining in the half giving the Bulls their first lead of the contest, 21-19. That basket would start a run that would blow the game open for USF as it would close out the first stanza on a 15-4 stretch that would give the Bulls a 13-point lead, 35-23, when Leondra Doomes-Stephens hit a three-point shot as time ran out.
Grant would score eight of her 10 points and grab three of her 10 boards during that five minute span.
USF would keep the pressure up in the second stanza as it outscored the Hatters 44-19 in the final 20 minutes of action. The Bulls would start to share the wealth on the offensive end of the floor as eventually five players would end up in double digits in the scoring column, while just one of the 12 players that saw action on the night – Andrea Smith – logging more than 30 minutes. Smith would finish with 31 minutes on the floor.
Smith and Kaneisha Saunders would lead the way for the Bulls with 13 points apiece while Doomes-Stephens added 12 points in the win. Jasmine Wynne also chipped in with 10 points.
In addition to her 13 points, Smith also recorded three steals and three assists.
Stetson (1-1) was led by Sasha Sims and Tierra Brown with 11 points apiece.
USF gets back to work on Saturday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. when it battles Morgan State in the second game of its three-game home stand. The Bulls will close out their three-game stretch in the Sun Dome on Monday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. when Southeastern Conference foe Auburn comes to Tampa.