Dickson at her best isn't quite enough

Published January 12, 2006

TAMPA - Back and forth they traded baskets, the top two scorers in the Big East, both setting career highs.

Junior Jessica Dickson scored 37 for the Bulls, but senior Cappie Pondexter had 40 for No. 10 Rutgers, including a jumper with nine seconds left that let the Scarlet Knights escape with a 66-65 victory Wednesday before 1,153 at the Sun Dome.

The Bulls (11-5, 1-2 Big East), who led by 16 in the first half, made 2 of 6 free throws in the final 2:02, and freshman Shantia Grace, fouled by Pondexter with four seconds left, lost a chance to tie when she missed the first of her two.

"It's a tough way to lose," said Bulls coach Jose Fernandez, whose team lost at Pittsburgh on Sunday on a shot with four seconds left. "I told our players that games aren't won or lost in the last 30-40 seconds. We shot 50 percent from the free-throw line in the second half, and that's not going to get it done against the type of teams we're playing in this league."

Dickson and Pondexter dueled the whole game, with Dickson setting her career high on a basket with 1:01 left that gave the Bulls a 64-62 lead. Pondexter answered with a shot with 42 seconds left, and after USF's ChiChi Okpaleke missed two free throws with 16 seconds left, Pondexter hit the winner.

Dickson had a halfcourt heave at the buzzer that went off the side of the rim.

"I felt unstoppable," said Pondexter, who hit 14 of 23 shots for Rutgers (11-2, 3-0). "(Dickson) is a scoring threat, no doubt. ... It shows a lot about our character that we were able to fight and not give up."

Aside from Dickson, the rest of the Bulls shot 25 percent from the field and went 13-for-24 at the line. Grace had six assists and no turnovers in 40 minutes.

TAMPA 55, FLA. TECH 50: Erica Woodard had 13 points and Shaneisha Walton 12 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks to lead the host Spartans (11-4, 3-1 Sunshine State).

SAINT LEO 59, ECKERD 53: Marquita Fenn had 14 points and eight rebounds as the visiting Lions (5-9, 2-2 SSC) snapped a five-game losing streak to the Tritons.

Top 25

NO. 2 DUKE 67, GA. TECH 59: Wanisha Smith scored 13 as the visiting Blue Devils (15-0, 4-0 ACC) survived their closest game of the season.

NO. 5 BAYLOR 57, OKLA. ST. 26: The host Bears (12-1, 2-1 Big 12) held the Cowboys to their fewest points this season.

TCU 76, NO. 18 NEW MEXICO 67: Adrianne Ross scored a career-high 24 for the host Horned Frogs (7-6, 1-1 Mountain West).

GW 58, NO. 19 TEMPLE 41: Freshman forward Jazmine Adair scored 11 and set career highs with 11 rebounds and three blocks for the host Colonials (10-4, 3-0 Atlantic 10).

NO. 24 MISSOURI 64, NEBRASKA 58: Carlynn Savant scored 14 of her 16 in the second half for the visiting Tigers (13-2, 3-0 Big 12).

Information from other news organizations was used in this report.