Bulls will try to torch Blazers again, this time on the road

It’s probably a good thing USF women’s basketball coach Jose Fernandez doesn’t put too much stock into streaks and statistics, especially heading into tonight’s season finale on the road against UAB.

That’s because the Bulls have always had a tough time in Birmingham.

Though the Blazers are one of Conference USA’s worst teams this season, the Bulls have a tough task to overcome; USF has never won at UAB.

“The (team) doesn’t really know about that,” Fernandez said. “(Besides), basketball was a lot different here in the past.”

What the Blazers hope will be different this time around is the score. The Bulls trounced UAB by 21 points less than two weeks ago, and though the Blazers sit in the C-USA cellar, they could possibly secure one of the final two spots in the C-USA tournament with a victory against the Bulls.

“I know UAB is going to be ready to play us,” Fernandez said. “I know they’re going to be pretty hungry and pretty pissed off after coming down here and us beating them by (21) points.”

After telling his team two weeks ago that if they won out in the regular season they could secure the program’s first postseason tournament selection, Fernandez said he doesn’t need to remind his team what is on the line in the season finale. In fact, that point is so deeply embedded in their minds, Fernandez has moved to other topics of discussion with his team.

“Right now we’ve been talking about, we want to put ourselves in a position to where we can secure a bid like that and already put it in the bank. It’s already in your savings account, and then we can go to the conference tournament and take care of business there,” Fernandez said. “It’s better to have options than no options.”

One option the Bulls won’t have is sophomore Ezria Parsons, who was suspended for the regular-season finale for missing practice Monday. And Parsons missing as the staple power forward could hurt the Bulls, who have won five of their last six games, including three straight.

“Every team has certain things come about during the course of the year, whether you have injuries, people get in foul trouble, and it’s just one of those things right now where we need Sarah Lochmann, Andrea Armstrong, (and) Sharon Cambridge,” Fernandez said. “One of those kids needs to step up for us, and we’ll be fine.”

Dickson breaks scoring record

Upon further review, standout freshman Jessica Dickson had already broken the USF freshman scoring record on Feb. 6 in the game against Cincinnati. Dickson, who has 486 points this season, was thought to be eight points behind Tammy Von Oppen’s total in the 1993-94 season. However, the USF sports information department re-checked the statistics and found that what was thought to be Von Oppen’s freshman total was really the total from her sophomore season.

The correct old freshman record of 376 points was set by Mary Klinewski in 1981-82.

“To tell you the truth, when those first stats came out I was really surprised that somebody put those type of numbers up here,” Fernandez said.

Dickson also set the C-USA freshman scoring record in Sunday’s victory against Tulane. She also holds the C-USA single-game freshman scoring record, which she set in the Bulls’ double-overtime victory against TCU.