The USF women's basketball team is back in action, this time in Cancun, Mexico, as they take part in the Caribbean Classic. The Bulls, coming off of their first loss of the season to Nebraska on Sunday (8-1 on the year now) will face Nevada on Friday at 1:00pm. Then assuming the Mayans are wrong, they'll face Creighton on Saturday at 3:30pm as they look to get back on the winning track before Christmas.
Nevada is 5-4 on the season and is led by junior guard Danika Sharp (5'9"), who is their leading scorer with 16.2 points per game. Senior guard Chanelle Brennan (5'11") is an all-around threat, averaging 14 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, and adding 22 assists and 19 steals. Junior guard Arielle Wideman (5'9") leads the team with 29 assists and sets up Sharp and Brennan to attack from the wing. Sophomore Emily Burns (6'0") is averaging 6.8 PPG and 6.9 RPG and will battle the USF front line in the paint for rebounds and second chance points. Keep an eye on freshman guard Terilyn Moe (5'8", 6.4 points per game) and sophomore Aja Johnson (6'1", 5.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game) who both contribute off the bench.
On Saturday, the Bulls will take on Creighton, who enters the tournament at 6-2. The Blue Jays hold a win over Nebraska this season, the same team that frustrated the Bulls offense back in Tampa.
Creighton is led by junior forward Sarah Nelson (6'0"), who leads the team with 10.5 points per game, and also averages 8 rebounds and 3.8 assists. The Blue Jays are a balanced scoring team -- junior guard McKenzie Fujan (5'11"), senior guard Ally Jensen (5'6"), junior forward Carli Tritz (5'10"), and freshman Marissa Janning all average at least 7.9 points per game.
Nevada will take chances on the defensive end and has two main scorers, while Creighton is a more balanced team and can call on any number of players to score points. In order for the Bulls to have success in this tournament will have to find their shooting range and get high percentage looks. Against Nebraska on Sunday, the Bulls offense was stymied by the Cornhuskers and they wore USF down late in the second half. USF has to establish its offense and let Rowe and others dominate the glass and turn the tables against the opponents.