TAMPA — With coach Jose Fernandez away from the team since Monday and hospitalized with abdominal pains, USF couldn't put away pesky Florida A&M, which pulled off a 73-68 upset in overtime Friday in the opener for both teams.
USF led 60-56 with 30 seconds left in regulation, but two missed free throws opened the door for FAMU to tie it on Deidra Jones' 3-pointer with seven seconds left. The Bulls led 68-67 in overtime with 1:13 to play, but senior Jessica Lawson missed two shots and Florida A&M scored the final six points. LaShonda Gaines went 4-for-4 at the line in the final 29 seconds.
"I don't think we can use Coach not being here as a crutch," said associate head coach Jeff Osterman, who is interim coach. "I think it's some new kids that have to learn (that with) the name on the jersey and the Big East patch, people are going to come and attack us. We have to get better from this."
NO. 15 FLORIDA STATE 79, NORTH FLORIDA 50: Jacinta Monroe led the way with 16 points for the host Seminoles, who led by as many as 39 in their opener. FSU put the game away in the first half with a 30-0 run. The Ospreys scored two first-half points in the paint and were held scoreless for more than 12 minutes in the first half.
Around the nation: Coach hits milestone
CATONSVILLE, Md. — Virginia coach Debbie Ryan opened the season with her 700th victory, 68-57 over Maryland-Baltimore County. Ryan, in her 33rd season at Virginia, is the seventh active Division I women's coach with 700 wins. She joins Tennessee's Pat Summitt, Rutgers' C. Vivian Stringer, North Carolina's Sylvia Hatchell, Stanford's Tara VanDerveer, Montana's Robin Selvig and Georgia's Andy Landers.
"(The attention is) embarrassing to me. … Those wins belong to the players, the coaches who coach with me, to my administration, to the University of Virginia," Ryan said.
NO. 2 STANFORD 89, ODU 56: Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 25 points and 12 rebounds for the visiting Cardinal (1-0), which routed Old Dominion thanks to a 29-4 opening run.
NO. 3 OHIO ST. 91, E. ILLINOIS 68: Jantel Lavender had 24 points and 13 rebounds for the host Buckeyes (1-0) in the first round of the preseason NIT.
NO. 5 N. CAROLINA 88, CHARLESTON 57: Laura Broomfield and She'la White scored 14 points each for the host Tar Heels, who closed the first half with a 16-2 run in their opener.
NO. 6 DUKE 104, HOUSTON BAPTIST 35: Bridgette Mitchell scored 18 points for the host Blue Devils (1-0), who held the overmatched Huskies to 20 percent shooting (10-for-49) and forced 33 turnovers.
DAYTON 77, NO. 10 MICHigan ST. 74: Kristin Daugherty scored 17 points to lead the host Flyers to the upset. Dayton's Kendel Ross hit four free throws in the final 15.8 seconds in the opener for both teams.
NO. 11 XAVIER 81, USC 71, OT: Amber Harris had 19 points and 12 rebounds to lead the visiting Musketeers (1-0).
NO. 12 TEXAS 71, UT-SAN ANTONIO 60: Brittainey Raven scored 11 points for the host Longhorns after sitting out the first half due to a suspension.
NO. 13 OKLA. 108, MERCER 66: Danielle Robinson and Amanda Thompson scored 17 points each for the host Sooners (1-0).
NO. 19 GEORGIA TECH 63, WINTHROP 30: Mo Bennett had 21 points for the host Yellow Jackets (1-0) in the preseason NIT.
Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.