Opening night for the women’s basketball team saw senior Jessica Dickson in mid-season form.
After falling behind 21-13 the Bulls went on a 12-2 run and took a 26-23 lead and never trailed after en route to an impressive 85-59 victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee Friday.
Dickson opened the game by scoring USF’s first 13 points of the game and finished the first half with 18 points.
On her first shot of the second half, Dickson passed Angie Snyder for second place on the all-time scoring list.
Dickson finished the night with 29 points before fouling out for the only third time in her career.
“We were joking in the locker room, I think I’ve taken Rachel (Sheats’s) spot,” Dickson said referring to her aggressiveness and fouling out. “This is the new Jessica.”
Dickson, ChiChi Okpaleke and Porche Grant each grabbed six rebounds to help USF to a 38-24 advantage.
Along with Dickson, point guard Shania Grace carried the scoring load ending the night with 21 points and seven assists.
The Panthers fell to 0-1 on the season despite shooting 8-16 from three point range. Center Traci Edwards scored 20 points to lead Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Perhaps the biggest improvement from last season for USF is its depth. All twelve players saw action and nine players scored.
During the game 42 personal fouls were called forcing both teams to put in some unusual player mixtures.
“The one thing you saw today compared to last year was our depth.” coach Jose Fernandez said. “We knew we going to play 10 players, but we ended up with some crazy lineups out there because of all the foul calls.”
Because the Bulls depth they were able to earn their first victory of the season.
“(Our depth) will help us out a lot, we have Catlin (Mitryk), Dai Packer, we have a lot of shooters,” Dickson said. “With that depth (Fernandez) can call them in and save our legs.”