Grace's 3-Point Play Lifts Bulls Past Rutgers
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Shantia Grace did more than give South Florida one of its biggest wins in women's basketball with a late 3-point play. The senior also put some doubt in the mind of Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer whether the once highly regarded Scarlet Knights can make the NCAA Tournament this season. Grace snapped a tie with her 3-point play with 7.9 seconds to play and South Florida beat Rutgers 59-56 after blowing a 19-point second-half lead on Saturday. "This is a big win," Grace said. "I've been here four years and we haven't won against them. It was a close game my freshman year and it came down to missed free throw with me. But this is Rutgers, a team that's always in the Top 25 so this is a big win."The Bulls (16-6, 3-5 Big East Conference) had to sweat out both the final minutes and seconds. The Scarlet Knights (12-7, 4-4) tied the game with a late 17-0 run, and they had another chance to force overtime in the waning seconds. Epiphanny Prince's running 25-footer, however, banked off the backboard and rolled off the rim. Janae Stokes added 20 points as South Florida beat Rutgers for the first time in four meetings. The Bulls seemingly took total control with a 28-4 spurt bridging the halves and then fell apart in the final five-plus minutes as they turned the ball over six times, allowing Rutgers to run off 17 straight points. Brittany Ray tied the game with a 3-pointer with just under a minute to go. Grace then missed the front end of a one-and-one with 47 seconds to play, giving Rutgers a chance to take the lead. However, the Scarlet Knights could not get off a shot and turned the ball over on a shot clock violation with under 16 seconds to play. Grace broke the Rutgers' press - which had been so lethal in the comeback - and drove the lane for an off-balance layup, giving the Bulls their final lead. NO. 1 CONNECTICUT 80, GEORGETOWN 61 WASHINGTON - Tina Charles scored 17 points and helped No. 1 Connecticut (21-0, 7-0 Big East) remain unbeaten with victory over Georgetown (13-8, 3-5). NO. 2 OKLAHOMA 78, MISSOURI 56 NORMAN, Okla. - Nyeshia Stevenson and Ashley Paris each scored 14 points as No. 2 Oklahoma (18-2, 7-0) extended its winning streak to 14 games and remained atop the Big 12 Conference by routing Missouri (10-10, 1-6). NO. 6 LOUISVILLE 81, PROVIDENCE 49 PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Senior Angel McCoughtry scored a career-high 43 points as No. 6 Louisville (20-2, 7-1 Big East) extended its best start in school history by defeating Providence, (8-13, 2-6). NO. 7 CALIFORNIA 73, USC 71 BERKELEY, Calif. - Devanei Hampton scored on a layup with 2.2 seconds left and No. 7 California (18-2, 9-0 Pac-10) held off Southern California (11-9, 5-4) to tie a school record with its 10th consecutive win. NO. 11 TEXAS A&M 73, KANSAS 60 COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Danielle Gant scored 21 points and Takia Starks added 17 to help No. 11 Texas A&M (17-3, 5-2 Big 12) beat Kansas (12-7, 1-5). NO. 22 IOWA ST. 60, NO. 14 KANSAS ST. 50 AMES, Iowa - Heather Ezell was 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the last 35 seconds and finished with 19 points as No. 22 Iowa State (16-4, 4-2 Big 12) upset No. 14 Kansas State (15-5, 3-3). NO. 17 NOTRE DAME 66, CINCINNATI 50 SOUTH BEND, Ind. - After losing three of its past four games, 17th-ranked Notre Dame (16-4, 5-3 Big East) used a season-high 21 steals to bolster Lindsay Schrader's season-high 19 points and career-high 15 rebounds and beat Cincinnati (13-7, 3-4). NO. 24 S. DAKOTA ST. 88, OAKLAND, MICH. 75 BROOKINGS, S.D. - Jennifer Warkenthien scored 19 of her 29 points in the first half as No. 24 South Dakota State (20-2, 9-1) beat Oakland University (16-5, 8-2) to take sole possession of first place in the Summit League. NO. 25 DEPAUL 74, WEST VIRGINIA 56 CHICAGO - Sam Quigley scored 17 and No. 25 DePaul (17-5, 5-3 Big East) beat West Virginia (12-8, 1-6). TAMPA 58, FLAGLER 56 ST. AUGUSTINE - Gianna Messina's two free throws with 11 seconds to play gave Tampa (14-5) victory against Flagler (2-19). Former Holy Names standout Messina had 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Spartans. SAINT LEO 61, BARRY 60 SAINT LEO - Marquita Fenn's free throw win five seconds to play gave Saint Leo (9-10, 1-8 SSC) its first conference win of the season, as the Lions beat Barry (14-6, 5-4).