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TAMPA -- Sarah Lochmann scored 15, all in the first half, and Jameelah Trimble had 10 of her 13 in the second as South Florida picked up its first win in its home opener Wednesday night, 56-44 over Chicago State.
The Bulls ended the first half with an 11-7 run to take a 26-22 lead despite shooting 3-of-8 from the free-throw line. They never trailed in the second half, though the Cougars stayed close most of the way and cut the deficit to two with 9:38 left on two free throws by Loretta Ellil.
Sonia Cotton's 3-pointer 15 seconds later sparked a 9-3 USF run before both teams went scoreless for 21/2 minutes. Tristen Webb's free throw broke the drought with 2:25 remaining, and USF sealed the win at the free-throw line.
USF held the Cougars to 21.2 percent shooting overall and no field goals in the final 71/2 minutes. The Bulls shot 36.5 percent from the field after shooting less than 30 percent the first two games.
"This team got five starters back; they signed a really good freshman class," Bulls coach Jose Fernandez said of Chicago State. "If you look at their schedule, who they're playing, they're playing some people, so it's not like we brought in a dog from a terrible conference to beat up on. They're in a low- to mid-division I conference, and they went out to Arizona State and were down three at the half and ended up losing by 16 or 17 to them, but I was just really pleased with my team's performance in the second half."
Despite going down in the first half with an ankle injury, Aiya Shepard had a game-high seven steals.
"Again, Sarah Lochmann has a great game, 15 (points) and seven (rebounds), and Jameelah had 13 and nine, but it was definitely too close for comfort," Fernandez said. "We got a W and now we can hopefully get healthy. Aiya Shepard got hurt and we played about 9-10 minutes without her, but I'm really pleased to get out of this game with a win, that's for sure."
SO. MISS 73, UCF 45: Lana Lewis scored 15, Tierra Lassiter came off the bench to add 14 and the host Eagles shot 46 percent.
ECKERD 63, PUERTO RICO RIO PIEDRAS 45: Stefanie Mihalopoulos scored 24 to lead the host Tritons.
SAINT LEO 89, PUERTO RICO CAYEY 28: September Harrison scored 18 as the host Lions raced to a 41-5 lead and coasted.
NO. 8 GEORGIA 89, GEORGIA ST. 50: Kara Braxton scored 20 and freshman Tina Taylor added 11 for the visiting Bulldogs, who led by 20 late in the first half and 45-25 at halftime. Georgia had a 52-32 rebounding advantage and held the Panthers to 31 percent shooting.
NO. 12 TEXAS TECH 81, VALPARAISO 46: Jia Perkins scored 18, 10 in the second half, to lead the host Raiders.
NO. 14 MINNESOTA 84, LOYOLA 67: Lindsay Whalen scored 29 on 14-of-20 shooting to power the visiting Gophers.
NO. 19 MISS. ST. 76, HOUSTON 57: LaToya Thomas scored 31 and Tan White had 29 to lead the visiting Bulldogs.
DRAKE 63, NO. 20 IOWA ST. 61: Carla Bennett scored 15, including a late free throw to put her team ahead to stay, and the Bulldogs handed the Cyclones a rare home loss.
NO. 22 BYU 67, BOISE ST. 53: Jennifer Leitner had 18 points and 17 rebounds, and Erin Thorn added 18 points for the host Cougars.
NO. 25 UC 73, DAYTON 48: Debbie Merrill had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Bearcats, who won their sixth consecutive home opener.