DICKSON SCORES 27 TO LEAD NO. 8 SEED USF, 79-64 OVER NO. 9 SETON HALL :: Bulls will play top-seeded UConn Sunday at 2:00 p.m. ET in BIG EAST Quarterfinal action DICKSON SCORES 27 TO LEAD NO. 8 SEED USF, 79-64 OVER NO. 9 SETON HALL

March 3, 2007

Box Score |  Quotes |  Notes

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Jessica Dickson scored 27 points to lead the University of South Florida to a 79-64 win over Seton Hall in the first round of the Big East conference tournament Saturday.

Dickson scored 15 after intermission, including 11 during a 13-3 run that stretched a 57-52 lead to 70-55.

"I didn't want to get yelled at," Dickson joked. "That's why I think we dug so deep. Coach (Jose) Fernandez was giving it to us."

South Florida (20-10) now advances to a second-round matchup with No. 3 Connecticut.

"This was a big win to get in to the NCAA tournament as an at-large bid if we don't move on," Fernandez said.

Nalini Miller added 17 points and seven rebounds for the Bulls, who also beat the Pirates 60-51 in the both teams' regular season finale on Feb. 26.

The Pirates (18-11) had four players in double figures, led by Ela Mukosiej and Heta Korpivaara, who each had 12. Forward Monique Blake, who had been averaging 11 points a game, had been ill all week and played just seven minutes.

"Today would have been a different game if we had Monique," Seton Hall coach Phyllis Mangina said.

Seton Hall trailed throughout, but pulled within two with 11:30 remaining in the first half. USF responded by going on a 9-2 run, and less than two minutes later the Bulls led 19-10. They carried that momentum through the half, to take a 35-24 led into the locker room.

Seton Hall - which came into Saturday's match having won 9 of its last 11 games - committed 19 turnovers, including 13 in the first half.

Mangina said she believes her team deserves an NCAA bid despite the loss.

"I have to think that if there are 16 teams, there should be eight or nine bids from our conference and we should be one of them," she said. "Look at how we've done - who we've played and beaten. I think we belong there."