Bulls roll to tourney crown

By wire services
Published December 22, 2005

GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico - Jessica Dickson, the nation's leading scorer, had 24 points and earned tournament MVP as USF defeated Colorado 72-59 Wednesday night in the championship game of the San Juan Shootout.

Tampa's ChiChi Okpaleke had 14 points and 16 rebounds and was named to the All-Tournament team. Nalini Miller added 14 points and Ezria Parsons 12 for the Bulls (9-2), who tied the third-best start in school history.

USF went on a 13-0 run over a 5:01 stretch in the first half, taking a 21-6 lead on Okpaleke's free throws with 11:17 left before the break. The Buffaloes fought back to cut the lead to 37-34 on Whitney Law's layup with 1:09 left. Okpaleke's layup with 32 seconds left gave USF a 39-34 lead at the half.

The Bulls opened the second half with a 12-4 run that gave them a 53-38 lead. Colorado never got closer than eight after that.

USF shot 49.1 percent (26-of-53) from the field to 41.5 percent (17-of-41) for the Buffaloes. The Bulls converted 19 turnovers into 27 points.

UF 73, FAMU 58: Freshman Sha Brooks scored a career-high 21 and made 5 of 8 3-pointers, and Brittany Davis had 16 points and eight rebounds for the host Gators.

All 12 players scored for Florida (9-1), which won its seventh straight, its longest winning streak in coach Carolyn Peck's four seasons.

"I thought this was a good win from the standpoint that we were able to get a lot of playing time for several players," Peck said. "Everyone played well and played hard. This experience will pay off for us as the season goes along."

The Rattlers' pressure defense forced nine turnovers in the first half and kept it close for 10 minutes, with three ties and four lead changes. Davis' layup with 9:53 left put UF up 21-19 and triggered a 24-9 run to close the half.

XAVIER 75, FSU 68: Tara Boothe had 22 points, and the host Musketeers (8-2) pulled away in the final minutes.

Ganiyat Adeduntan scored 14 to lead five players in double figures for the Seminoles (7-3), who were up 53-48 with just less than eight minutes left.

Xavier tied it at 58 with 4:12 left, the first of three ties in the final minutes. Suntana Granderson hit an NBA-length 3-pointer as the shot clock wound down to give the Musketeers the lead for good, 65-62 with 2:29 left.

S. CAROLINA 87, B-CC 26: Melanie Johnson had 19 points and the host Gamecocks (7-3) allowed the fewest points in school history. South Carolina (7-3) tied a school record by holding the Wildcats (2-5) to 14 percent shooting from the field.

LE MOYNE 70, ECKERD 54: Kim Wagoner had 19 points and Ann Belforti 18, and the Dolphins (5-4) improved to 4-0 at home. Freshman Gabby Gattuso had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Tritons (2-8).

Top 25

NO. 11 MICH. ST. 80, NO. 16 OKLAHOMA 60: Liz Shimek scored 25 and had a season-high 14 rebounds to lead the visiting Spartans.

In a meeting of dominant inside players, Shimek guided her team to victory by simply staying on the court. Michigan State (7-2) built much of its lead while the Sooners' Ashley Paris, who entered seventh in the nation in scoring and second in rebounding, was on the bench.

NO. 20 TEXAS 77, TEXAS A&M-C.C. 65: Nina Norman scored 15 and Ashley Lindsey added 14 and 14 rebounds to lead the host Longhorns (6-3) in the intrastate matchup.

NO. 22 UTAH 72, E. MICH. 67: Senior forward Kim Smith scored a season-high 29, and the visiting Utes (8-2) held on after the Eagles made a late surge.

NO. 23 BC 101, NIAGARA 49: Brooke Queenan scored 20 and Kathrin Ress 17, and the host Eagles (10-2) set school records for victory margin, first-half points (55) and shooting percentage (72).