Bulls knock off No. 21 DePaul in overtime
Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 00:01
A nationally ranked Big East opponent entered the Campus Recreation Center on Tuesday night and left disappointed, as the USF women's basketball team beat No. 21 DePaul in a dramatic 66-63 overtime game.
DePaul started off with the hot hand, nailing three of four 3-pointers within the first few minutes of play — two of which were made by senior guard Deanna Ortiz.
After falling behind 9-3 early, USF (11-8, 3-2) quickly narrowed the gap and kept it that way. The Bulls trailed by as many as five points in the second half, but fought back and stayed competitive in a game which saw six lead changes.
USF trailed by two at the break and still trailed by that margin with 20 seconds left in the game. Sophomore center Akila McDonald stepped up, and made a lay-up to even the score at 60.
The Bulls had a chance to win with a second left in regulation as junior guard Inga Orekhova missed a free throw, sending the game into overtime. Orekhova finished the night with 13 points.
USF limited DePaul to three points in the overtime period and scored six, including a pair of clutch free throws from McDonald.
"I haven't been doing what I know I can do on the court," McDonald said. "It was time to show (coach Jose Fernandez) that I can do whatever he needs me to do."
USF benefited from balanced scoring, as three players reached double figures in points. Senior guard Jasmine Wynne and junior guard Kaneisha Saunders led the team with 16 points.
"That's something we work on in practice," Saunders said. "Coach gives us different scenarios and gives everyone an opportunity to score."
After knocking off DePaul, USF will get another shot at a ranked team when No. 7 Rutgers comes to town Saturday night.