Another lackluster shooting performance contributed to a disappointing showing for the women’s basketball team as No. 5 Connecticut routed the Bulls 77-47 on Tuesday night at Gampel Pavilion.
The Huskies minimized the presence of junior guard Jessica Dickson, leaving the Bulls without much offensive ability. Dickson, who leads the nation in scoring, was limited to six points on two for nine shooting from the field and was held scoreless in the second half. The game was the first time in 35 outings that Dickson was held under double digits in scoring.
“I thought they did a very good job. They ran two people at her. They really made other people make shots,” coach Jose Fernandez said. “When you have a kid like Jessica, you run a lot of quick hitters, and a lot of sets are made by either her getting the basketball coming off the screen or her having the ball and using the screen. I just thought that they did a very good job.”
Connecticut sent double and even triple teams at Dickson on each of her possessions. The Huskies forced the ball out of her hands, forcing other players to shoot the ball.
“Connecticut did a very good job scouting me. They were sending one person at me and then two people at me,” Dickson said. “(Getting open) is something that I just have to figure out and something that I have to work through. But I will definitely figure it out.”Freshman point guard Shantia Grace led the Bulls with 12 points, and senior center Sharon Cambridge added 10 points off the bench. The Bulls shot under 32 percent from the field and were out-rebounded 37-28.
Connecticut had a balanced offense, with three players scoring in double figures. Barbara Turner led the Huskies with a game-high 16 points, Brittany Hunter added 11 off the bench, and Charde Houston scored another 10. The Huskies were accurate from three-point range, hitting six of 14 from behind the arc. Connecticut showed its dominance in the post outscoring the Bulls 40-6 in the paint.
“I’m very frustrated with our play,” coach Jose Fernandez said in an interview with 570 AM, WTBN. “We have nine games left in our season, and we will see character-wise what we are made of.”
USF pulled within five points of the lead midway through the first half, but never made another charge at the Huskies.
After starting off the game one for seven from the field and falling behind 13-2, the Bulls outscored Connecticut 17-11 including a 7-0 run midway through the first half. The Huskies, however, made a 6-0 run after a quick timeout to push the lead back to 11. With a 43-29 halftime lead, Connecticut opened the second half on a 16-5 run to open up a 25-point lead and cruised to the victory.
“I don’t think that we are playing good basketball right now,” Fernandez said. “I’m disappointed and embarrassed in the way we played. Our energy and intensity didn’t match theirs. It’s about accountability. Teams get better as the season progresses. But we’re not a very good basketball team right now.”
The loss drops USF to 13-7 overall and 3-4 in Big East play.