TAMPA (FOX 13) - Down two starters in the most critical month of the season, the USF women's basketball team continues to bull through.
Head Coach Jose Fernandez knows how much those two ladies are missed. Before spraining her ankle last month, Alisia Jenkins was the team's second leading scorer and top rebounder.
Meanwhile, Laura Ferreira, the Bulls third leading rebounder, has battled a foot injury all season.
"A lot of teams can't sustain when you lose your second leading scorer and your leading rebounder," Coach Fernandez said. "And then you lose your glue guy that can guard anybody on the floor and play multiple positions like Laura Ferreira."
Still, the Bulls have won eight of their last 10 games, thanks in large part to their bench.
"We never would have been able to do this before and sustain these types of injuries or losing one kid like a Jenkins and being able to win basketball games in league play," said Fernandez.
The Bulls shot just 32-percent from the floor in their 66-48 win over SMU Sunday. Again, the Bulls showed they could overcome that obstacle.
"You shoot 32-percent and that's not very good at all," said Fernandez. "But you win by 18. Our defense was solid."
In college basketball, when the calendar turns to February, that means its the final stretch for teams. The injury bitten Bulls won't have it easy over the next few weeks. Five of their last nine games are on the road, and two of them are against top 15 ranked opponents in Louisville and UConn.
"Right now, it's so important to finish this month of February going into the conference tournament and then making sure we position ourselves to getting a good seed for the NCAA tournament."