Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

South Florida Bulls beat Kansas in Women's NIT final

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Jasmine Wynne cupped her hands around her mouth as the decibel level rose above 100 before Saturday afternoon's WNIT championship tipoff inside Allen Fieldhouse.

Wynne, USF's freshman guard, screamed across the basketball floor to teammate Shantia Grace.

"I can't hear myself think," Wynne yelled.

Grace didn't respond. She couldn't hear, either. Once the contest began, however, Wynne, Grace and the rest of the Bulls made enough noise on the court to escape with a 75-71 victory against the Kansas Jayhawks and capture the school's first national postseason tournament title of any kind.

The mayhem came courtesy of an announced crowd of 16,113, the largest to watch a game for either program. It also marked the second-largest crowd in WNIT history and the largest home crowd for a women's game in Big 12 history.

"At first, it was kind of loud and disturbing," said Grace, a senior playing her last collegiate game. "It was so loud, your ears were ringing. You couldn't hear yourself breathe."

Then the game began, and USF quickly established control.

The Bulls took a 38-30 lead into halftime behind 10 points from guard Jazmine Sepulveda.

"I told our guys the crowd's not going to score any points," USF coach Jose Fernandez said. "The crowd's not going to defend you."

USF led by as much as 61-49 in the second half on Grace's layup and free throw with 7:19 left. A 17-6 Kansas run over the next five minutes trimmed the lead to 67-66.

Bulls center Jessica Lawson responded with a layup on the next possession, and the Bulls made four free throws down the stretch to hold on.

Sepulveda and Grace both were named to the all-tournament team, with Grace being selected as the WNIT most valuable player.

USF (27-10) closed the season by winning five consecutive games.

"We tried to show the committee and everybody else that we deserved to be in the NCAAs," Grace said. "Yeah, it was a bad moment when we didn't get in, but I guess this is our blessing, to win the WNIT."

NOTE: Fans can greet the team this morning at Tampa International Airport. It's scheduled to arrive at 10:40 a.m. (Southwest Airlines Flight 2417).

USF 75

Kansas 71

Xxxxx X

Xxxxx X

XX innings

South Florida Bulls beat Kansas in Women's NIT final 04/04/09 [Last modified: Sunday, April 5, 2009 1:35am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander

    Bucs

    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  2. Rays journal: Blake Snell continues roll in win over Cubs (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was still a game in the fifth inning when LHP Blake Snell walked the leadoff batter, then allowed a single. One swing by the Cubs' Ian Happ (22 home runs) could put a dent in the Rays' three-run lead.

    Blake Snell allows just two hits in pitching seven scoreless innings.
  3. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.

    Figures.

    Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) grounds into a double play to end the top of the third inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    One success story of this lost season is the emergence of LHP Blake Snell as the frontline starter the Rays projected. After a rough start and two demotions, he has been rolling, Wednesday's solid seven innings making him 4-0, 2.57 in his past eight starts.

  5. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    This is a 2017 photo of Matt Andriese of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)