USF women lose NIT opener at Florida
USF's women's basketball team, last year's Women's NIT champions, didn't make it past the first round this time, losing 61-54 at Florida in Thursday night's opener.
The Bulls got 26 points and 12 rebounds from senior Jessica Lawson in her final college game. With the loss, USF (15-16) finishes with a losing record for the first time since 2004. Lawson was the only Bulls player in double figures -- freshman KaNeisha Saunders went 3-for-21 from the field on a rough night, scoring seven points. Senior forward Melissa Dalembert had 11 rebounds in her final game.
USF fell behind 14-2 in the first seven minutes, but rallied to tie the game early in the second half. The Bulls' poor shooting -- 26 percent from the field, 4-for-20 on 3-pointers -- kept them from keeping pace with the Gators.
Florida (16-15) got 16 points from guard Steffi Sorensen, with center Azania Stewart adding 15. The Gators move on to face Miami, which beat Florida Gulf Coast 70-57 on Thursday night.
-- The opening-round leader at the Transitions Championship golf tournament in Palm Harbor, Garrett Willis, shot a 65 on Thursday while wearing a USF hat. "I like to go to the basketball games. I like to go to the football games. And being here local, I figured I would support the Bulls," said Willis, according to Cybergolf.com. Story at MSNBC.com has a good shot of the "U" hat.