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USF lets 2nd-half lead slip

By Times wire

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 6, 2000


BOCA RATON -- Florida Atlantic used long-range shooting to overtake South Florida and then sealed a 93-84 victory with nearly flawless free-throw shooting down the stretch Tuesday night.

The Owls hit eight three-pointers, five in the second half, and connected on 21 of 25 free throws in the final 20 minutes.

"They hit some big threes," USF coach Jose Fernandez said. "There was really a barrage that we just couldn't stop. They pressed us the entire game, and then our point guard went down (Melissa Tape, arm injury) at the 11-minute mark. That made their pressure even tougher down the stretch."

USF scored the first six points of the second half for a 45-33 lead before the Owls went on their three-point shooting spree. FAU used a 22-9 run highlighted by three three-pointers from LaTorria Matthews to take a 55-54 lead. USF led for the last time at 60-59 when Aiya Shephard scored underneath with 9:56 remaining.

Shephard scored a career-high 32 points, 20 in the first half. She was 12-of-23 from the field, 9-of-12 in the first half. Deneitrice Stinson added 14 points and Lindsey Smith 13.

NO. 1 CONNECTICUT 77, MIAMI 53: Swin Cash scored 20 points and Svetlana Abrosimova 16. The visiting Huskies overwhelmed Miami with their full-court pressure defense and fast-break offense. Chanivia Broussard had 15 points for Miami, which has lost 14 straight to the Huskies.

NO. 13 PENN ST. 95, MARYLAND 86: Lisa Shepherd scored 26 points and Kelly Mazzante 21. Penn State led 72-56 on Mazzante's layup, but Maryland, aided by 14 Penn State fouls in the second half, used a 19-6 run to pull within a point with 3:42 left.

NO. 15 OKLAHOMA 86, ARK.-LITTLE ROCK 45: LaNeishea Caufield scored 21 points for visiting Oklahoma. Arkansas-Little Rock had its only lead at 3-2 after a three-pointer by Muci Harris.

NO. 22 WISCONSIN 101, LOYOLA, ILL. 53: Jessie Stomski had 21 points and 13 rebounds for the visitors. LaTonya Sims added 19 points and Nina Smith had 14 for Wisconsin, which used a 21-3 run to take a 34-17 lead with 5:35 left in the first half.

NO. 25 TEXAS 70, ILLINOIS 54: JoRuth Woods scored 18 points for visiting Texas. Tai Dillard added 11 points. Texas led 34-21 at the half and pulled away after Illinois closed to 39-29 on a basket by Cindy Dallas.

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