When: Sat., 7 p.m.Where: Sun DomeTV/Radio: Catch 47, 860 AM
The story: The women’s basketball team has posted a 13-1 home record, but faces a tough test when it hosts Pittsburgh on Saturday.
The Bulls are 0-3 all-time against Pittsburgh, including two buzzer-beating losses last year and an embarrassing 25-point loss this year. In the 73-48 defeat on Jan. 20, USF shot only 16 percent during the first half.
Senior Jessica Dickson said the loss was one of the worst of her career.
“We have it in the back of our minds, especially with what happened at the end of that game,” Dickson said. “It’s definitely a game we want to come out and be really prepared for.”
Dickson, the Big East Conference’s second leading scorer, is just 93 points away from breaking Charlie Bradley’s 22-year-old all-time scoring record of 2,319 points. Against Pittsburgh on Jan. 20, Dickson was held to a season-low 10 points.
The forward is averaging 20.5 points per game.
Despite the tough loss to Pittsburgh, the latest USA Today poll still has the Bulls (17 votes) ranked higher than the Panthers (14 votes).
The Panthers come into the game ranked No. 14 in the Big East Conference in three-point field goal percentage, shooting .269 percent from beyond the arc. Look for the Bulls to play zone defense and force Pittsburgh into long-range shots.
“In practice, we’ve been focusing on our defense,” Dickson said. “After the loss to DePaul, we definitely need to work on our defense.”
Keep an eye on: Pittsburgh guard Shavonte Zellous. The sophomore ranks third in the conference with 20.2 points per game and scored a game-high 25 points in the first meeting between the two teams.