USF women get key win vs. Rutgers in Hartford
USF's women's basketball team needed a win Saturday to help secure an NCAA Tournament berth, and the Bulls rallied late to beat Rutgers 42-39 and advance to the Big East tournament quarterfinals, where they'll face top-seeded Notre Dame on Sunday afternoon.
The Bulls (21-9) won with defense, holding Rutgers (16-14) scoreless over the final 4:49 of the game. USF didn't hit a field goal in the final 7:10, but ended the game on an 8-0 run -- entirely on free throws -- and took its first lead with 1:19 left. Inga Orekhova hit two free throws with two seconds left to clinch the win.
USF won despite shooting 22.8 percent from the field and 17.9 percent on 3-pointers; the Bulls forced Rutgers into 24 turnovers, including five in the final five minutes of the game.
Is that enough to get the Bulls into the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in the program's history? USF entered the game with an RPI of 55, and now has a 7-9 record against top 100 opponents, along with top-50 wins against Louisville and Syracuse.