USF 70, UAB 43
A sophomore stole the show on senior day.
Forward Jessica Dickson made 14-of-21 shots and scored a season-high 34 points as the USF women’s basketball team capped off their most successful regular season in school history with a dominating 70-43 win over UAB on Saturday.
With the win, the Bulls (19-9, 9-5 C-USA) set regular season records in home wins (13), conference wins (9) and total wins (19).
But the story of the game was Dickson, who became the first player in school history to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau as a sophomore.
“I was nervous out there going for 1,000,” Dickson said, “But I just came out and played and credit my teammates for getting me the ball.”
Dickson, who is averaging 17.1 points this season, had 26 points at halftime and finished just two points shy of her career-high.
Shooting 46.2 percent for the game, the Bulls led by as many as 27 as they extended their winning streak to five.
Anedra Gilmore scored 12 points and dished out six assists, and Alana Tanksley added four points in the last regular season game for both seniors.
Crystal McFadden paced the Blazers (7-20, 4-10 C-USA) with 22 points.
USF will enter this week’s Conference USA Tournament as the No. 5 seed and will take on No. 11 seed Southern Miss. on Thursday.
USF beat Southern Miss 68-54 on Feb 13. and with a win over USM (9-18, 3-11 C-USA) on Thursday, the Bulls would face No. 4 seed TCU (20-9, 10-4 C-USA), who beat USF 67-55 on Jan. 13.
The Bulls will likely have to win at least two games in the C-USA Tournament to have a realistic shot at their first ever NCAA Tournament berth.
Whether they make the NCAA Tournament or have to settle for the WNIT, Coach Jose Fernandez knows where his team is headed.
“I’m very excited about the future here,” Fernandez said. “Good things lie ahead for this program.”