Wisconsin-Milwaukee (0-0) at USF (0-0)When: Friday, 7 p.m.Where: Sun Dome
The story: Seven months after qualifying for its first NCAA Tournament, the women’s basketball team begins the regular season Friday against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
USF finished with an impressive 19-12 record and went 9-7 in conference play during its first season in the Big East.
Considered a bubble team for the NCAA Tournament, the Bulls entered the tournament with a No. 9 seed and fell to No. 8 Southern California 67-65 in the first round.
The Bulls are returning four starters from last year’s team and were selected to finish seventh in the Big East Conference, receiving four votes in the first ESPN-USA Today Coaches Poll.
Last season, the Panthers qualified for their second NCAA Tournament berth after finishing the regular season with a 22-9 record. In the first round of tournament play, the Panthers fell to Michigan State 65-46.
USF defeated the Miami Sun 101-54 in the team’s lone exhibition game of the season, shooting an impressive 44.8 percent from three-point range.
The Bulls’ first opponent of the season will be no pushover, but Coach Jose Fernandez is looking forward to the challenge.
“A big thing for us last year was our strength of schedule; that’s what got us in the tournament,” Fernandez said. “(The Panthers) are a good team; it’s going to be a very good test for us early.”
Shooting for the record: Senior Jessica Dickson is on the verge of breaking Wanda Guyton’s record for points in a career, which has stood for 17 years. Dickson opens the year third on the all-time scoring list, but only needs 66 points to surpass Guyton.
Dickson could move into second place on the all-time scoring list Friday, as she trails Angie Snyder by just 18 points. Last year, Dickson led the Big East in scoring and finished third in the nation in scoring with 22 points per game.
Keep an eye on: forward Nalini Miller. The team’s best shot blocker already holds the school record for blocks in a career after swatting 65 shots last season.