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Amazing Grace: Bulls knock off Pitt, 65-64



Lots more to come from a wild finish here, but here's the game story running in Sunday's paper ...

TAMPA -- USF guard Shantia Grace hit a running, spinning layup with five seconds left, and after a controversial play at the buzzer, the Bulls kept their Big East tournament hopes alive with a 65-64 win against Pittsburgh.

"It feels great," said Grace, who scored 17 points to send two seniors home happy on their final home game. "We were 0-4 against Pittsburgh, and before the game, (ChiChi Okpaleke) said she wanted to beat Pittsburgh."

Grace put USF (14-14, 4-11) ahead with five seconds left, but Pitt (19-9, 9-6) had a chance to win. Chavonte Zellous went up for a 3-pointer at the buzzer and made contact with Okpaleke, but officials ruled no foul was made.

"She definitely got raked," said Pitt coach Agnus Berenato.

Replays showed Zellous made contact with Okpaleke using her non-shooting hand. Officials said after the game that because no foul was called, the play could not be reviewed using TV replays.

The Bulls trailed 18-2 early but rallied back, trailing by six at halftime. They didn't tie the game until Gianna Messina hit two free throws with 37 seconds remaining. Grace finished with a team-high 17 points.

USF is one game out of 12th place and the last spot in the Big East tournament, but a Bulls win Monday at Marquette, combined by a Villanova loss at Louisville, would send USF to Hartford, and potentially to the Women's NIT.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 12:13pm]


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