Because the USF women’s basketball team was on the road and not in the Sun Dome for Friday’s regular-season finale against UAB, no one but the fans in attendance got to see the reaction of the Bulls following their 70-61 victory.
However, it wouldn’t come as a complete surprise to hear about some of the dance routines the Bulls players and coaches practiced after the game.
With the win, the Bulls (14-13, 7-7 C-USA) assured themselves a non-losing season, thus making themselves eligible to receive a berth in the Women’s NIT. USF coach Jose Fernandez has said that the Bulls, who are riding a season-high four-game winning streak and have won six of their last seven games, should receive a berth if they finish with a .500 record or better.Fernandez was unavailable for comment.
Last season, the Bulls were coming off a 14-13 record and were dealing with some mighty expectations, considering the team returned most of their core players. However, the Bulls struggled throughout the season and ended with a 7-20 record.
Because of last season, expectations for Fernandez’s squad were low this year. In fact, the Bulls were picked to finish dead last in Conference USA.
But USF adopted the motto “something to prove” before the season began, and after Friday’s victory against UAB the Bulls proved they belong.
USF finished with as many C-USA victories (seven) as they had all of last year, while finishing with a .500 conference record for the first time since 1998-99.
The Bulls now enter the C-USA tournament Thursday as the No. 8 seed and will face Cincinnati, a team USF defeated in overtime earlier this season, in the first round.
Friday’s game against the Blazers didn’t start well for the Bulls and the team trailed by one, 35-34, at halftime. However, freshman Jessica Dickson broke out of her early slump and scored 13 of her team-high 19 points in the second half. The Bulls closed the game on a 15-5 run to gain the program’s first-ever road win against UAB in 15 games.
And the Bulls did it without forward Ezria Parsons, who sat out Friday’s game for missing practice earlier in the week. Senior Sarah Lochmann, junior Alana Tanksley and sophomore Sharon Cambridge each scored in double figures to help fill the void left by Parsons.
The Bulls travel to Fort Worth, Texas on Thursday to face the Bearcats at 1 p.m.