Women win tournament in Miami

Coach Jose Fernandez picked up his first win against his alma mater as the USF women’s basketball team defeated Florida International 55-43 to win the Miami Jam title Saturday.

USF, which defeated Texas A&M 62-56 Friday to advance to the final round against FIU, has played all four of its games on the road this season.

Junior Ezria Parsons took home the tournament’s most valuable player award after scoring six of her 15 points in the final two minutes of the game to guarantee the win for the Bulls (3-1) against FIU.

“The second half was very big for us going out on the run in the beginning and only turning the ball over two times in the half. It is going to be very good to get home to play some games.”

Sophomore All-American candidate Jessica Dickson was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 17.5 points a game through the tournament.

USF played most of the first half without its starting lineup due to foul trouble, but led 24-19 at half time thanks to strong play from the bench players.

“I was very pleased with the way that our bench played when our players got in foul trouble in the first half.” Fernandez said

On Friday, USF played against the Aggies and never trailed. Texas A&M kept it close throughout the game, cutting the Bulls’ lead to one point late in the fourth quarter. Dickson picked up 21 points against the Aggies, including a 16-footer with 20 seconds left to seal the win for the Bulls, USF’s first against a team from the Big 12.

USF got a strong rebounding effort from sophomore Nalini Miller, who grabbed nine boards against the Aggies.

“(Miller) got into foul trouble early and only played about three minutes in the first half,” Fernandez said. “When she got back in we went to her early to get her more involved.” The Bulls are off to their best start since the 2001-02 season, when they started out the season 7-0.

“All three wins are good wins from our program, and our loss to Duke was a great learning experience for us,” Fernandez said. “We’ve played four games in eight days on the road and I’m ready to play at home.”