TAMPA - The Bulls were unable to hand Villanova its first Big East
loss Saturday in a game that wasn't decided until the very end of regulation at The Pavilion.
Devon Kane was fouled with three tenths of a second
remaining and her free throws were the difference in the Wildcats'
52-49 win over the Bulls.
USF (12-5, 1-3) had a shot at winning it in regulation, but
Andrea Smith missed a jumper with eight seconds remaining. Taylor Holeman grabbed
the rebound and the Wildcats won it seconds later. Kane attempted a 3-pointer
when Sasha Bernard hit Kane on the hand when defending the shot from about 25
feet away on the right wing.
"We have to move on and focus on Seton Hall. It's tough. You
have to move on," USF head coach Jose Fernandez said.
Andrell Smith powered USF with a game-high 20 points but
fouled out with 5:18 remaining in the game. Andrea Smith shook off an 0-for-12
performance in the first half to post 10 points. Inga Orekhova also added 10
points, while freshman forward Alisia Jenkins continued her impressive
season with nine points and nine rebounds.
USF shot 26 percent against a Villanova defense that came in
allowing just 48 points per game.
"We went in some big-time lulls offensively and that just
hurts you," Fernandez said.
Laura Sweeney scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to
help Villanova (15-2, 4-0) win for the sixth straight time.
USF finishes up its two-game road trip 7 p.m. Tuesday at
Seton Hall. The Bulls are back in the Sun Dome Saturday, Jan. 26 to take on
Marquette at 6 p.m.