January athlete of the month

Jessica Lawson is the Oracle’s athlete of the month after an impressive performance in January for the South Florida women’s basketball team.

The 6-foot-3 senior center averaged 10.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game for the Bulls in January.

And she did it battling lingering injuries in both knees.

Coach Jose Fernandez said Lawson will not practice for the remainder of the season, but she continues to play in games for USF.

With Lawson’s help, South Florida pulled off one of the best wins this season Sunday when the Bulls defeated Rutgers 59-56 on the road.

The Edgewood native, who transferred to USF from California in 2006, had eight points and six rebounds.

Lawson’s injuries began in the 2005-2006 season, when she tore her anterior cruciate ligament and fractured her left kneecap.

Lawson is second on the team in blocks with 21 this season. She will play through injury again tonight against Marquette.