Women: Bulls stun No. 21 Irish

Associated Press
Published January 29, 2006

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The tears of Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw in the post-game news conference showed how much the overtime loss to South Florida hurt.

The 21st-ranked Irish fell behind by 15, battled back to take the lead in the second half before losing 68-64 to South Florida in overtime on Saturday.

"We just don't have the offensive power we need," McGraw said. "I think we have people that are capable of it, but they're just not doing it."

The Irish (12-7, 3-5 Big East) - ranked as highly as No. 10 after winning their first six games - are likely to fall out of the rankings for the first time since the start of the 2004-05 season following their sixth loss in nine games.

The Irish appeared as though they might hold on when Megan Duffy hit a pair of free throws with 24 seconds left for a 58-55 lead.

The Bulls (14-7, 4-4), who moved ahead of the Irish in the league standings, wanted the nation's leading scorer, Jessica Dickson, to take the shot to try to tie it. But with Dickson covered, she passed to Ezria Parsons.

Parsons, who was 2-of-11 from 3-point range this season, hit a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left to force the overtime.

Then Jessica Jackson hit a key 3-pointer with 2:12 left in overtime to give the Bulls a 65-62 lead.

"She's been in and out of the doghouse all year," South Florida coach Jose Fernandez said. "She's been far deep in there because she struggled defensively. I thought this was a game that could really show some of her offensive skills."

Notre Dame cut the lead to a point on a fastbreak layup by Charel Allen. But Jessica Dickson, who scored 13 of her 18 after halftime, hit a pair of free throws with 20 seconds left for a 67-64 lead.

Duffy, who led Notre Dame with 25 points, had a chance to tie it, but put up an air-ball from 3-point range with 3 seconds left.

South Florida enjoyed its second overtime victory against a ranked team this season. The Bulls beat then-No. 11 DePaul 79-77 on Dec. 7.

"It's just been really disappointing with the way our posts have been playing right now," McGraw said. "We just cannot score."

NO. 5 UCONN 84, NO. 12 DePAUL 75: The Huskies win snapped DePaul's 33-game home winning streak, the second-longest in the nation behind Western Illinois.

NO. 9 BAYLOR 90, KANSAS 40: The Bears put Kansas away in the second half, outscoring the Jayhawks 29-10 and going in front 75-33 with just over seven minutes left to play. Baylor outrebounded Kansas 45-25 and converted 23 Jayhawk turnovers into 37 points.

NO. 10 RUTGERS 65, GEORGETOWN 51: A 16-0 run midway through the first half gave the visiting Scarlet Knights the lead for good.

NO. 13 OKLAHOMA 81, TEXAS A&M 72: The host Aggies only committed eight turnovers, to 17 by Oklahoma, but shot just 32 percent in first half and 37 percent for the game.

NO. 18 NEW MEXICO 60, UNLV 47: The Lobos missed their first 10 shots and shot a season-low 28.3 percent, but Katie Montgomery's 3-point shooting, 19 offensive rebounds and solid defense extended New Mexico's homecourt winning streak in Mountain West Conference games to 31.

NO. 19 ARIZONA STATE 67, WASHINGTON 61: Reserve Amy Denson made a 14-foot shot to give the Sun Devils a 63-58 lead. Host Washington turned the ball over on its next possession and Arizona State made four free throws in the final 33 seconds.

NO. 20 BYU 70, COLORADO STATE 54: The host Cougars led by as many as 27 midway through the second half.