USF seeks win in pivotal game

One word comes to mind when senior center and team leader Jessica Lawson thinks about Rutgers’ women’s basketball team: physical.

The Bulls (13-8, 4-4) look to match Rutgers’ aggressiveness when the Scarlet Knights visit the Sun Dome on Saturday at 2 p.m.

“(Rutgers) is an extremely physical team,” Lawson said. “We know that we are in for a dogfight every time we face them.”

The Scarlet Knights have been called for 397 fouls this season, 55 more than their opponents.

While Rutgers (12-10, 4-4) is viewed as a physical team, perhaps the same could be said about USF, which isn’t far behind with 390 fouls this season.

Each team is fighting for positioning within the Big East standings, as USF, Rutgers, DePaul and Marquette are all tied for sixth in the conference with a record of 4-4.

“This is a huge game for both of us,” said Bulls coach Jose Fernandez. “Rutgers is an athletic team, and we need to rebound and take care of the basketball if we’re going to beat them. Both teams could use a victory (Saturday).”

USF will its hands full with Rutgers senior Brittany Ray, who is seventh in the Big East in scoring average with 15 points per game. No one else on the Scarlet Knights’ roster is averaging more than 7.5 points per game.