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South Florida Bulls women's basketball team beats Cincinnati in second round of Big East tournament; Duke routes Florida State Seminoles in ACC tournament

USF’s Brittany Denson drives through Cincinnati’s Val Schuster, left, and Jill Stephens during the first half.

Associated Press

USF’s Brittany Denson drives through Cincinnati’s Val Schuster, left, and Jill Stephens during the first half.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Jazmine Sepulveda hit a career-high eight 3-pointers and scored 24 points as USF beat Cincinnati 68-58 Saturday in the second round of the Big East tournament.

Shantia Grace added 13 points and 10 assists for the eighth-seeded Bulls (22-9), who play top-ranked and undefeated Connecticut at 2 p.m. in today's quarterfinals. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU and 1010-AM.

Jill Stephens led Cincinnati (14-17), the 16th seed, with 15 points. The Bearcats upset Marquette in the first round Friday.

The Bulls set a Big East tournament game record with 14 3-pointers in 25 attempts. USF held Cincinnati to 5-of-17 3-point shooting. The Bulls hit double-digit 3s for the seventh time this season but the first since Jan. 20, when they hit 12 of 27 at Providence.

A senior guard, Sepulveda tied for the second-most 3-pointers in a game in school history with Grace, who hit eight against Coppin State on Nov. 23.

USF led by one at halftime and opened the second half on a 10-2 run en route to its fourth win in a row and sixth in eight games. The Bulls, trying to get back to the NCAA Tournament after two years in the NIT, have the most wins in program history.

NO. 20 NOTRE DAME 62, ST. JOHN'S 45: Lindsay Schrader had 16 points and Natalie Novosel 15 for the Irish (23-8). Notre Dame plays fourth-seeded Villanova in the quarterfinals today.

RUTGERS 79, SETON HALL 45: Brittany Ray scored 17 and Khadijah Rushdon and Epiphanny Prince 15 each for the Scarlet Knights (19-11), who face seventh-ranked Louisville in the quarterfinals today.

Duke routs FSU

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Jasmine Thomas scored 14 points to help No. 8 Duke beat No. 12 Florida State 75-57 in the semifinals of the ACC tournament.

Carrem Gay added 13 points for the third-seeded Blue Devils (26-4), who easily avenged a regular-season loss and reached today's championship game for the second straight year.

Tanae Davis-Cain had 14 points for the second-seeded Seminoles (25-7), who have lost 28 of the past 31 meetings in the series. FSU fell behind by double figures midway through the first half and never recovered.

"When we missed shots in the first half — and we got great looks — it dictated what we did on the defensive end," FSU coach Sue Semrau said. "You cannot win big basketball games when your mentality isn't strong enough to be who you are."

NO. 4 MARYLAND 95, NO. 11 UNC 84: Marissa Coleman scored 29 for the Terrapins (27-4), who advanced to their first league championship game since 2006 and moved within one victory of their first conference tournament title since 1989 by snapping a 13-game winning streak in the event by the four-time defending champion Tar Heels (26-6).

SEC tournament

NO. 6 AUBURN 78, NO. 19 TENN. 58: DeWanna Bonner scored 26, and the Tigers (29-2) went on a 21-4 run at the start of the second half to rout the Vols (22-10) in the semifinals in North Little Rock, Ark. Auburn advanced to the championship game for the first time since winning the title in 1997 and handed Tennessee its most lopsided loss in an SEC tournament game.

Sunshine State

TAMPA 57, ECKERD 53: Tiara Cook had 20 points and 14 rebounds as the Spartans (24-5) won their school-record 11th straight game, beating the Tritons (17-12) in a semifinal on the Nova Southeastern campus in Fort Lauderdale. Tampa faces Rollins at 1 p.m. today.

FAST FACTS

NCAA berths

Austin Peay Ohio Valley

E. Tenn. StateAtlantic Sun

South Florida Bulls women's basketball team beats Cincinnati in second round of Big East tournament; Duke routes Florida State Seminoles in ACC tournament 03/07/09 [Last modified: Sunday, March 8, 2009 4:43pm]
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