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Season low


A sudden scoring outburst immediately after tip-off left the USF women’s basketball team stunned Tuesday night against Rutgers.

The Scarlet Knights (8-5, 3-1) opened the game with an 8-0 run en route to a dominating 62-36 home victory.

Rutgers was able to hold Jessica Dickson – the Big East Conference’s second-leading scorer – to 13 points, and Shantia Grace – the conference’s fifth-leading scorer – to five. Both were season lows for the each.

Grace and Dickson shot a combined 5-25 from the field.

The rest of the team didn’t fare much better as the Bulls (12-4, 2-1) only shot 21 percent from the field while committing 15 turnovers to only eight assists.

“We didn’t show up tonight,” coach Jose Fernandez said. “We picked a terrible night not to show up for a basketball game.”

Center Kia Vaughn led Rutgers with 18 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots. The

6-foot-6 sophomore leads the Big East in blocks with an average of 2.58 per game.

As a team, Rutgers rejected 13 shots and leads the conference with 6.25 blocks per game.

Tuesday marked the second consecutive game Rutgers was able to hold a Big East foe to less than 40 points. The Scarlet Knights only allowed 39 points to then-ranked No. 22 Pittsburgh.

Despite its six losses, Rutgers has been impressive this season as each of its eight victories have been by double figures.

“They were able to control us offensively,” Fernandez said. “We had too many people that simply did not bring it tonight.”

The starting five for USF combined for 24 points.

The Bulls trailed the entire game, and the closest USF came to taking a lead was after a lay-up from ChiChi Okpaleke pulled them to within 15-11.

USF entered halftime trailing 27-16 and are now 1-4 for the year when trailing at the break.

In addition to the score, the Bulls were out rebounded 53-39 and allowed Rutgers to shoot forty percent from the field, including shooting 4-8 from beyond the arc.

Although there is a stark contrast in the teams’ records, the latest AP Top 25 rankings had USF receiving 32 votes with Rutgers immediately behind them with 22 votes.

After Tuesday night’s performance, the Bulls will need to drastically improve in order to become ranked.

“To tell you the truth, with our effort we should have been beaten by more,” Fernandez said. “We did not match Rutgers’ effort and intensity.”