TAMPA, FL – South Florida flexed its muscle and looked the part of a top-20 team in the opening round of the 2015 Preseason WNIT, jumping to an early lead before moving past Jacksonville.
The Bulls (1-0) will play Drexel or Dartmouth in Round 2 next week, the Dolphins (0-1) will play in the consolation round next week at a site to be determined.
South Florida burst out of the gates to take a 15-0 lead in the first quarter. The lead sat at 16 points by halftime, but Jacksonville made it interesting and cut it to eight points (53-45) on a layup by Jasmyn Brown at the start of the fourth quarter. But the Bulls had the finishing kick they needed and opened up a large lead in the final minutes.
Courtney Williams, a senior guard who was a top-10 scorer in the nation last season, closed with 34 points, just one off her career high. Williams also fought her way to a game-high 18 rebounds. Latvian freshman Kitija Laksa scored 15 points, while center Katelyn Weber blocked six shots.
The Dolphins got 12 points and seven rebounds from Briona Brown, although she was just 3-of-16 from the field. Jacksonville was outrebounded, 51-38, and was held to 27 percent shooting overall.