WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Beginning the Title Defense

Kiana Malimban

Contributing Writer

Last Friday night, Nov. 11, USF’s Director of Athletics Scott Sidwell came out to honor the women’s team with their 2015-2016 West Coast Conference Championship trophy. After the ceremony, USF faced the visiting Sacramento State Hornets and were able to maintain a safe lead throughout the duration of the game en route to a 91-80 win to kick off their regular season.

The Dons stifled the Hornets as they kept up a double digit lead throughout the entire game, making it difficult for the Hornets to come back. The Dons ended the first half with a comfortable 18-point lead, with USF’s forward Michaela Rakova leading all scorers.

USF guard Kalyn Simon helped the Dons keep the lead with her 3-point shot at the end of the third quarter, giving the Dons an 18-point lead going into the fourth. In the fourth quarter the Hornets didn’t let up, however they were able to narrow the deficit to 11. But in the end, the Dons walked away with a 91-80 victory for their second game of the season.

Key players from Friday night’s game were Michaela Rakova, Kalyn Simon and Nia Alexander. Rakova set an impressive career high of 26 points and career-high of 13 rebounds, recording her first career double-double. Simon played 32 minutes and shot 3-for-5, 60 percent, from beyond the arc. Alexander played for 19 minutes and shot a solid 5-of-6, 83 percent, from the free throw line. Overall, the team pulled down 62 rebounds and recorded a quality 83 percent.

Although the season has just begun, the Dons are off to a great start and look comfortable out on the court. They have a long road ahead of them but the goal is to repeat as WCC champs and get another shot at the NCAA tournament in March. Their next games are at home on Nov. 15 against Seattle University, and on Nov. 18, the Dons head to Washington State to take on the Cougars. Be sure to go out and support or follow live on theW.tv.

Photo Credit: Claudia Sanchez/ Foghorn

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