After a near nine-month hiatus, the USF women’s basketball team returned to the hardwood, ready to compete in what was meant to be a two-game road trip.
On Nov. 25, the Dons headed north to take on the University of California, Davis Aggies. They were also scheduled to play the University of Nevada, Reno Wolf Pack on Nov. 27, however, that matchup was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, and there is no plan to reschedule the game.
The Dons’ season opener against the Aggies was a hard-fought affair that included 10 lead changes and four ties throughout the game. In the first quarter alone, the Aggies never trailed USF by more than four points, and they brought the game within one point as the first buzzer rang throughout the gym.
Defense was the name of the game in the second quarter as the Dons found themselves on the wrong end of an 8-0 run, which gave the Aggies a seven-point lead. Despite the Aggies’ run, the Dons trimmed their opposition’s lead to three points and went into halftime down 38-35.
The second half saw both teams trading blows, but the Aggies jumped in front of the Dons by going on a 9-2 run in the last three minutes of the third quarter. With 10 minutes left in the game, the Dons kicked into high gear.
Redshirt sophomore Amalie Langer opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer, bringing the Dons within four points of their opponent. After the Aggies scored a bucket in the paint, a layup from senior Lucie Hoskova and another 3-pointer from redshirt freshman Ioanna Krimili cut the lead down to one point with a score of 63-62. Desperate to squash the Dons’ offensive burst, the Aggies called a timeout.
Coming out of the break, the Dons allowed the Aggies to score 12 points unanswered, leading to a score of 75-62. The Dons did not go down quietly, sparking a run of their own which brought the game within five points following another 3-pointer from Langer with 16 seconds left in the game. These efforts were not enough, though, and the Dons were handed an 82-75 loss.
Bright spots in the Dons’ defeat included four players finishing the game in double digits. Krimili led the team with 22 points, and she was joined by Langer, who scored a career-high 17 points, as well as Hoskova and junior Leilah Vigil who both scored 12 points respectively. Vigil also grabbed a team-high ten rebounds, earning her 16th career double-double in the process.
At the time of writing, the Dons are scheduled to play the University of California, Berkeley Golden Bears on Dec. 10.