UCONN breaks through in OT

Anedra Gilmore hit a clutch three-point shot with 21.6 seconds remaining to take Wednesday’s game against UCONN to overtime for the first time in it home at Gampel Pavilion.

“We came into the dragon’s belly and almost came out with a win,” USF coach Jose Fernandez told UCONN athletics after the game.

“This certainly is a tough place to play, but I was very happy with how our team played,” Fernandez said. “We were just so meshed those last eight to 10 minutes of the game. I mean, we were up by nine or 11 in the first half. It was fun for both teams and for the fans. Connecticut is a great team.”

UCONN’s defense stiffened in overtime, holding the Bulls scoreless in the extra stanza. USF (5-3) was hampered by foul trouble in overtime with three of their starting players on the bench after fouling out. The Bulls’ top scorers, Anedra Gilmore and Jessica Dickson, fouled out, leaving the Bulls searching for an offensive presence in OT. UCONN’s bench players outscored USF’s 34-4.

“Coming into this game we told our players that Connecticut is a tough team and does not lose back-to-back,” Fernandez said. “But, as far as the rest of the season, we need to get some more post players, or it’s not going to be very much fun. But, we have finals next week and then the next five games are home.”

UCONN’s Barbara Turner scored 23 points but did the most damage in overtime, scoring eight of the Huskies 10 points.

UCONN lost its game to North Carolina last week in Raleigh and almost had its second straight loss at the hands of the Bulls. USF led 25-14 with 8:29 remaining in the first half. The Bulls forced 19 turnovers and held the Huskies scoreless for over eight minutes in the first half.

Gilmore and Dickson scored 20 and 19 points respectively. Rachel Sheats added 15.

This game will set the stage for the rematch next season as the Bulls enter the Big East. South Florida shot 38 percent, an improvement from their last game.