TAMPA — USF's women's basketball team led No. 24 Notre Dame by as many as 14 points in the first half, but the Bulls' outside shots stopped falling, and the Fighting Irish battled back for an 86-79 win in the Sun Dome on Tuesday night.
"It's definitely a tough loss, especially at home," coach Jose Fernandez said. "They have a very good basketball team, and they found a way to make plays at the end."
The score was tied at 75 with 3:28 to play when USF's Porche Grant was called for a foul going over the back, then a technical foul for throwing an elbow. Notre Dame (18-6, 7-5) hit four free throws to take the lead, then scored the next four to go ahead by eight.
Guard Lindsay Schrader had a huge night for Notre Dame with 26 points and 11 rebounds. The Irish went 30-for-35 on free throws, while USF went 19-for-32.
Guards Janae Stokes and Jazmine Sepulveda led the Bulls with 16 and 15 points, respectively, but combined for just four in the second half. After hitting seven 3-pointers in the first half, the Bulls were just 1-for-11 after halftime. Grant had a double double off the bench with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
A win would have put USF at .500 in Big East play, but now the Bulls are 18-8 and 5-7 in league play, with three of their remaining four games on the road.
NO. 2 OKLA. 80, TEXAS TECH 72: Courtney Paris had 23 points and 20 rebounds for the visiting Sooners (23-2, 11-0 Big 12), who trailed 63-54 with 8:08 left before going on a 16-2 run over the next 4½ minutes.
NO. 8 LOUISVILLE 89, ST. JOHN'S 60: Angel McCoughtry had 28 points and 11 rebounds for her 51st career double double, and the host Cardinals (24-3, 11-2) clinched a top four seed in next month's Big East tournament.
SOUTH CAROLINA: A knee injury has ended the career of senior guard Brionna Dickerson. Dickerson was hurt Jan. 25 and tried a rigorous rehabilitation schedule to come back this season, but after consulting with her doctor and family, she decided it was best to sit it out.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.