TAMPA — Up nine points on No. 12 Louisville with 12 minutes to play, USF hit a major scoring drought — four points in the next 11 minutes — and a furious comeback in the final 35 seconds fell short as the Cardinals escaped with a 78-75 victory Wednesday at the Sun Dome.
Down 74-68 with 35 seconds left, the Bulls (14-6, 3-4 Big East) nearly pulled off the comeback. Andrea Smith got a basket, and Andrell Smith banked in a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left to cut the deficit to one. Twice the Bulls had a chance to tie with a 3, but they settled for a 2-pointer from Akila McDonald with 7.5 seconds left, and after two Louisville free throws, Andrell Smith's 3-pointer at the buzzer missed.
USF was hampered by 22 turnovers to 15 for the Cardinals.
"That's definitely a tough, heartbreaking loss," said coach Jose Fernandez, whose team fell in overtime to No. 2 Notre Dame and lost in the final second at Villanova this season. "It's tough going into that locker room. … I thought this game was going to come down to who's going to value the ball, who's going to make the most out of possessions. We lost that turnover battle."
Louisville (18-4, 6-2) got a career night from guard Shoni Schimmel, who scored 38 on 12-for-20 shooting, with eight 3-pointers. She had a personal 9-0 run to tie the score after USF led 62-53. Andrell Smith finished with 18 points and a career-high 11 assists.
FLA. TECH 58, TAMPA 54: Ida Gustafsson hit a tiebreaking layup with 29 seconds left as the Panthers edged the host Spartans (12-5, 3-5 Sunshine State).
LYNN 63, ECKERD 57: Kira Harvey had 18 points and eight rebounds for the host Knights, who held off a late rally by the Tritons (8-8, 4-4 SSC).
NO. 1 BAYLOR 90, TEXAS TECH 60: Brittney Griner set the conference women's career scoring record, finishing with 40 points for the visiting Bears (19-1, 9-0 Big 12). Griner passed Oklahoma State's Andrea Riley with her first four points, giving her 2,837.
NO. 17 DAYTON 60, VCU 49: Andrea Hoover had 15 points and 10 rebounds as the visiting Flyers (18-1, 6-0) extended their best Atlantic 10 start.
NO. 21 OKLA. 74, TCU 53: The host Sooners (16-4, 6-2 Big 12) rolled despite losing top scorer Aaryn Ellenberg to a left leg injury early in the second half.
KANSAS 78, NO. 23 IOWA ST. 75, OT: Angel Goodrich scored seven of her 24 in overtime as the host Jayhawks rallied past the Cyclones (14-5, 5-4 Big 12).
Information from Times wires was used in this report.