The women’s basketball team headed to Las Vegas last week to participate in the WCC tournament. USF had a good enough record in the WCC to bypass the first round and go straight to the quarterfinals. There they faced the University of the Pacific and came out on top 74-64.
Senior guard Taj Winston showed up ready to play and dropped 20 points, seven rebounds and two steals. The Dons played from behind for a little more than the opening 10 minutes but locked in and ripped off a 17-1 run to take an 11-point lead, 34-23. Even with things going smoothly for USF the Tigers finished the half with eight unanswered points closing the gap to 43-37. At half the Dons were outrebounded by their opposition 21-15 and made six more free throws.
The game continued to go back and forth in the second half with four different lead changes and three ties. It wasn’t until Winston finished a layup with 5:05 remaining that USF stayed up for good. The end of the game was all about the Dons since UoP let the fouls stack, USF made use of their trips to the line converting 26 of their 34 attempts. The Dons didn’t have their best stuff when it came to taking care of the ball, ending the game with 21 turnovers, but their 26-26 aggression and dominance in the paint, 43-33 rebounding advantage and 47.8% shooting in comparison to UoP’s 31.7% helped alleviate the situation.
In addition to Winston’s solid night some other key players were Taylor Proctor (19 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block), junior guard Zhane Dikes (11 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal) and senior forward Paige Spietz who filled the stat sheet with six points, 4 rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Up next the Dons will face San Diego in the semifinals of the tournament. The score of that game was not not available at time of printing.
Photo credit: Dons Athletics