UNCASVILLE, Conn. — One clutch play worked.
One clutch play didn't.
Combine that with 21 USF turnovers that resulted in 24 Old Dominion points and the result was a 68-66 overtime victory for the Monarchs in a Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament game Saturday at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
USF (3-1) will play at 2:30 p.m. today in a bracket final against Penn State, which was crushed 85-47 by No. 2 Kentucky in the other semifinal.
ODU (3-1) led 63-60 with the clock ticking down in regulation, but Shaun Noriega buried a 3-pointer with 4.3 seconds left to force overtime.
Then, with ODU leading 67-66 in OT, Blake Nash fed Augustus Gilchrist (18 points) in the lane only to have Gilchrist miss a 4-footer, and the ball went out of bounds off a Bull.
After ODU's Marquel De Lancey sank a free throw with 1.7 seconds remaining, Victor Rudd Jr. (16 points) heaved a shot from near midcourt that clanged the front rim as time expired.
"I thought our guys in late-game situations executed extremely well," USF coach Stan Heath said. "Before the overtime, we got the 3 from Noriega which was a great play.
"Then, we wanted to run a high-ball screen and get Gilchrist in the middle of the paint. He's one of our best players. We got the ball 3 or 4 feet from the rim. We thought we could either get a score or get fouled but we came up empty."
USF also "came up empty" in the ball-handling department which, as much as anything, is why it lost the game.
"We've been very good at that throughout the early part of the season," Heath said. "We were playing a more athletic, more aggressive team in Old Dominion. I thought some of it was them, but some of it was nonchalant, careless plays that you don't want to have.
"By that I mean feeding an entry into your offense or not meeting your pass or not working to get open. Just some fundamental things we've got to tighten up."
Kent Bazemore, who's just rounding into form after an operation on a fractured ankle, led ODU with 23 points, including 11 in the last 6:18 of regulation that kept his team in front until Noriega drained his 3.