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Courtesy: Tom Hagerty
USF Can't Finish Off No. 12 Louisville
Team 1st 2nd OT Final
Louisville
42 36
- 78
USF
41 34 - 75

 

By TOM ZEBOLD

USF Senior Writer

TAMPA - A cold streak in the second half kept the Bulls from sealing up their signature win of the season Wednesday night.

USF took a nine-point lead with 12:09 to play but couldn’t finish the job in a 78-75 loss to No. 12 Louisville before a crowd of 1,227 at the Sun Dome.

Andrell Smith led four Bulls in double figures with 18 points while posting a career-high 11 assists but USF was hampered by 22 turnovers. Louisville (18-4, 6-2) scored 28 points off takeaways and got a career-high 38 points from Shoni Schimmel, who went 8-for-14 from long range.

“I thought the game was going to come down to who is going to value the ball and who is going to make the most of possessions. We lost that turnover battle,” USF head coach Jose Fernandez said.

Fernandez also pointed to Louisville’s 20-13 edge in second chance points as a difference maker in another close loss to a ranked team. The Bulls (14-5, 3-4) also had No. 2 Notre Dame on the ropes but couldn’t deliver the knockout punch in a 75-71 overtime defeat Jan. 8 at the Sun Dome.

“I was proud of our kids. We fought until the end and still had an opportunity to win the basketball game,” Fernandez said.

A layup by Andrea Smith gave USF a 66-62 lead with 7:15 remaining but the Bulls didn’t get another field goal until an Andrell Smith layup with 31 seconds cut their deficit to 74-70. Andrell Smith’s 3-pointer off the glass cut Louisville’s lead to one with 21 seconds to play and an Akila McDonald jumper got the Bulls back within one with seven seconds remaining.

Louisville’s Antonita Slaughter made two free throws with four seconds left and Andrell Smith’s three-point try before the buzzer missed as USF’s winning streak was snapped at two.

“That was definitely a tough, heartbreaking loss,” Fernandez said.

Andrea Smith finished with 17 points, Inga Orekhova scored 11 of her 15 points in the first half and freshman guard Courtney Williams had another solid game with 11 points.

Orekhova started out 4-for-5 from the field with three 3-pointers to help the Bulls jump out to an 18-12 lead. Orekhova, Andrell Smith and Williams each had 11 points at the break after Williams’ buzzer-beating 3-pointer cut USF’s deficit to 42-41.

Louisville was able to start off with a lead thanks in large part to Schimmel, who had 20 points and four 3-pointers in the opening period. Schimmel, a junior, eclipsed the 1,000-point mark earlier this season and ended up topping her previous single-game high of 33 points on Wednesday night.

USF jumped out to its largest lead of the game after the break when an Andrea Smith bank shot put the Bulls ahead, 60-51, but Louisville’s hottest scorer heated back up. Eight quick points from Schimmel, including two more 3-pointers, cut the Cardinals’ deficit to 62-59 before Fernandez called a timeout with about nine minutes remaining. Schimmel matched her career high with her seventh 3-pointer that tied things up at 62.

The game was tied at 66 when Schimmel set a new career high at the right time for Louisville. The guard’s eighth 3-pointer put the Cardinals ahead and Slaughter delivered another with 2:16 to play before USF got within one twice the rest of the way.

“We have good teams coming in and we’re right there. We just can’t close it out but tomorrow we’re going to regroup, focus and we’ll be able to close these games out,” Andrea Smith said.

USF hits the road for its next two games starting 1 p.m. Sunday at Pittsburgh. The Bulls play at Providence on Saturday, Feb. 9 before returning to the Sun Dome to host St. John’s on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USF FG-A 3FG-A FT-A  Pts. 
Andrell Smith
5-16 3-8
5-5
18
Louisville FG-A  3FG-A  FT-A Pts. 
Shoni Schimmel
12-20 8-14
6-7
38
USF Off. Def. Total
Alisia Jenkins
5 3 8
Louisville Off. Def. Total
Sheronne Vails
5 2 7
USF Asst. Stl.  Reb.
Andrell Smith
11
1
6
Louisville Asst. Stl. Blk.
Bria Smith
4 5 1



USF Women's Basketball




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