Bulls ready to host Notre Dame

The South Florida women’s basketball team will look to win its third straight Big East game tonight when it hosts No. 24 Notre Dame at the Sun Dome.

The Bulls are coming off an 80-51 victory over Seton Hall on Saturday night. Coach Jose Fernandez said afterward that every win will be important if the team wants a bid into the NCAA tournament.

Senior Jessica Lawson will be important as well. The 6-foot-3 center said the team has come together, and that has helped USF continue its win streak.

“We’ve been playing very well together,” Lawson said. “That was something that had been missing.”

Lawson had 14 points in the win over the Pirates and said the Bulls’ team effort will have to continue over the next several games leading up to the NCAA tournament.

As a senior, Lawson said she feels extra motivation to make it to the “Big Dance.”

“This is my last time — I feel like I have to go all out,” she said. “I feel like we’re talented enough to get to the tournament.”

While the Bulls have seen success in the second half of their Big East schedule, the first half was a different story.

The Bulls lost two games to Marquette and suffered large losses to Connecticut,
Louisville and Pittsburgh. Moving into the postseason, Fernandez said all teams should be graded on their overall record. He said he hopes the NCAA committee won’t overlook USF’s 13-1 non-conference record, which included wins over Texas Tech and Iowa.

“Teams should be judged by their entire season,” he said. “We haven’t had one bad loss.”

South Florida also got a good performance from freshman Jasmine Wynne against Seton Hall. She scored 14 points.

“She has really grown as a freshman,” Fernandez said. “She created a lot of her offense off of her defense.”