The USF women’s basketball team came into the first week of the semester looking to rebound from their early West Coast Conference (WCC) losses (0-7 in WCC play since the start of the season). The Dons faced off against Brigham Young University (BYU) Cougars in Provo, Utah on Jan. 23, with two of the team’s brightest stars achieving huge milestones; Leila Vigil snagged her 500th career rebound in the game and Mikayla Williams reached her 1,000th. The USF tandem is a sparkling reason that the team has outrebounded their competition in 14 of their last 15 games.
Against BYU, the Dons displayed stifling defense and good execution early, which included the first two 3-pointers of Williams’ career. The Dons ended the first quarter in Provo with an 11-7 lead. However, BYU picked up their play following a sloppy first quarter responding with a 15-2 run and went into the half up by 10 on the Dons. BYU was also locked in defensively as they continued to hold USF under 30% from the field through the second and third quarters and only allowed six points from the Dons in the second quarter. With BYU beginning to bombard 3-pointers, USF still managed to hang around as they dominated on the offensive glass with 19 offensive rebounds.
Ultimately, however, the Dons lost their matchup 57-44, finishing with their weakest shooting performance this season. The team finished just 25.8% from the floor, their lowest of the season and their lowest in the past three seasons.
Looking to end their losing skid at eight-games, the Dons traveled to the University of San Diego to play the Toreros, ultimately losing 54-50. The Dons grabbed 34 rebounds, same as the Toreros, but were beaten in second-chance points 17-8. San Diego also knocked down 8 threes in this game and got more production from their bench as they outscored USF in that regard 14-2. The game featured 10 lead changes and 10 ties overall, with the two playing an overall competitive match. The Dons continued their shooting woes, however, finishing four for 26 over the past two games, a measly 15% from the field.
The Dons’ next match is Feb. 2 against the Santa Clara University Broncos in Santa Clara, California before returning home on Feb. 6 for a game against Pepperdine University.