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1,830 … and counting

Senior Jessica Dickson only needed four points to become the women’s basketball team’s all-time leading scorer.

And utilizing what got her all the points in the first place, Dickson achieved the feat with hustle.

With 14:21 remaining in the first half, Dickson’s lay-up moved her past Wanda Guyton into first place on the team’s scoring list. Her first two points came after she soared for an offensive rebound that turned into a putback in the Bulls’ 95-52 victory over Stetson (0-4) on Tuesday night.

“Dickson has found other ways of scoring when her jump shot isn’t going,” coach Jose Fernandez said. “She can take it to the rim, get to the foul line or get rebounds and score.”

Dickson ended the night with 1,830 career points.

Coming into last weekend’s Image Depot Shootout, Dickson needed 37 points to break the record but struggled from the field, shooting 11-of-37 during the tournament.

The struggle continued against Stetson as she finished 5-of-16 from the field with 13 points.

“To tell you the truth, I’m glad it’s over,” Dickson said. “All that pressure about the record, I’m just glad it’s over.”

Now that the record is behind her, Dickson can focus on what is really important to her.

“I’m proud (of the record), but I’d be even prouder if we could make it back to the NCAA Tournament,” Dickson said.

The Bulls (4-0) are off to another fast start, winning four games to open the season. Last year, USF won its first five games.

Against the Hatters (0-4), USF used its full-court press to force early turnovers for easy fast break points.

Guard Rachael Sheats led the way with a team-high of six steals and 17 points.

Stetson finished with a season-high of 29 turnovers and shot 38 percent from the field.

After scoring eight first-half points, Dickson appeared to be back in rhythm, making two midrange jump shots early in the second half.

“(Jessica) feels pressure night in and night out to be a scorer,” Sheats said. “But she’s a dominant player … and she can lead us to bigger and better things.”

One of the reasons why Dickson decided to come to USF was Guyton’s presence.

“She came down (to USF) and met Wanda while Jessica was being recruited,” said Kathy Mack, Dickson’s mother. “I think they even played a little together, and (Guyton) told Jessica she really could help this program.”

After graduating from USF in 1989, Guyton played professionally around the world before being selected by the Houston Comets of the WNBA with the fifth selection of the inaugural Elite Draft.

The Elite Draft enabled franchises to select players in other professional leagues, marking the first time a WNBA team could select players out of a talent pool.

Guyton helped the Comets win the first two WNBA Championships alongside Sheryl Swoops, Tina Thompson and Cynthia Cooper.

Guyton knew Dickson would be a special player.

“Once Jessica enrolled at USF, I had a feeling she was going to break my scoring record,” Guyton said. “I’m so excited for her and proud that she was able to score that many points.”

The 41-year-old Guyton is still playing professionally. She is a center for TSV Wasserburg, a German team in the International Basketball Federation. Guyton led the team in scoring (21.5) and rebounds (18) last season.

Fernandez feels Guyton’s presence at USF is a major reason why the Bulls have made three consecutive postseason appearances, including their first NCAA Tournament last year.

“It’s great to have somebody like Wanda to still be involved in our program,” Fernandez said. “During the summer she comes back. She’s 41 and still playing; she’s unbelievable.”

For 17 years, her team scoring record stood, but if anyone had to break it, Guyton is proud it was Dickson.

“I’m glad someone has (broken the record), and it couldn’t happen to a better person,” Guyton said. “I know Jessica; she is such a humble person and deserves everything she achieves. I’m very, very happy for her.”