Thursday, December 14, 2017
Sports

USF women fall to Notre Dame in Big East tournament

HARTFORD, Conn. — USF coach Jose Fernandez believes his team has done enough to get an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. He just hopes the selection committee agrees.

The Bulls fell just short against top seed Notre Dame, losing 75-66 on Sunday in the Big East tournament quarterfinals.

"Hopefully we showed the NCAA committee and everyone in the country that we belong in the NCAA Tournament," Fernandez said.

Senior twins Andrell and Andrea Smith combined for 45 points for the eighth-seeded Bulls (21-10). Matched up against Notre Dame star Skylar Diggins, Andrell scored 27 and hit 10 of 16 shots.

"I was happy that Andrell had such a good game," Fernandez said. "She had been struggling a little bit offensively. To ask her to guard an All-American for 40 minutes and play as well offensively, that was a great performance."

The twins have played together forever and will miss that when their season ends — whenever that may be.

"It's fun playing with this girl," Andrell Smith said, pointing to her sister. "She's my best friend on and off the court. She makes me better as a competitor, player and person."

The Smith sisters just couldn't overcome Notre Dame (29-1) and Natalie Achonwa, who had 20 points and 20 rebounds. Diggins, the Big East player of the year, added 15 points for the Irish, who face Louisville tonight.

MORE BIG EAST: Sara Hammond had 22 points and 11 rebounds to help No. 13 Louisville (24-7) beat St. John's 62-55. … Breanna Stewart scored 21, and No. 3 Connecticut (28-3) bounced back from its loss to Notre Dame with a 94-61 win over DePaul. … Kayla Alexander matched her career high with 34 points, and No. 24 Syracuse (24-6) withstood a rally to beat Villanova 61-56.

ACC: Freshman Alexis Jones scored a career-high 24 and No. 6 Duke (30-2) claimed its eighth tournament title by routing No. 15 North Carolina (28-6) 92-73 in Greensboro, N.C.

BIG SOUTH: Tolu Omotola scored 16 for top-seeded Liberty (27-6), which earned its 15th league tournament title in the past 17 years with a 54-45 victory over Longwood in Conway, S.C.

BIG TEN: Drey Mingo scored 24 and third-seeded Purdue (24-8) won its second straight tournament championship, beating fourth-seeded Michigan State 62-47 in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

PAC-12: Amber Orrange capped a career-high 20-point performance by scoring on a spinning drive with 8.3 seconds left, and No. 4 Stanford (31-2) won its seventh straight tournament title by rallying past No. 14 UCLA 51-49 in Seattle.

SEC: Kelsey Bone had 18 points and 15 rebounds, with most of her production coming in the second half, and No. 19 Texas A&M beat No. 7 Kentucky 75-67 in Duluth, Ga., to win the tournament championship in its first year in the league.

SUNSHINE STATE: Sixth-seeded Saint Leo (14-15) fell to fourth-seeded Rollins (21-8) 74-59 in the final in Kissimmee.

Top 25

NO. 1 BAYLOR 77, OKLA. ST. 69: Brittney Griner had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and the Bears (31-1) held off a furious late charge in the Big 12 semifinals in Dallas.

ST. JOSEPH'S 61, NO. 11 DAYTON 54: Chatilla van Grinsven had 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Hawks snapped a 15-game winning streak by the Flyers (27-2) in the Atlantic 10 semifinals in Philadelphia.

Comments
Does UCF have a shot at a split national championship?

Does UCF have a shot at a split national championship?

Reader Ken Kueker asked a great question yesterday:"If UCF beats Auburn in the Peach Bowl, what do you think of voting them #1 in your AP ranking?"My short answer is the obvious cop-out: It depends on how UCF looks (is it a triple-overtime win o...
Updated: 5 hours ago

North shuts out South squad in Pinellas All-Star Football Classic

CLEARWATER — The players had so much fun, officials at Clearwater High School literally had to turn off the lights post-game to get everyone to go home.With more than 60 talented and motivated seniors participating in Wednesday's 23rd annu...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Marchand rallies Bruins by Wings

Marchand rallies Bruins by Wings

DETROIT — Brad Marchand assisted on the tying goal late in regulation and scored the winner 35 seconds into overtime to give the Bruins a 3-2 victory over the Red Wings on Wednesday.The Bruins managed only two shots on goal in the first period but tw...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Without getting into specifics – especially the who and the where – Rays officials are for the first time talking optimistically about making a trade before the winter meetings end Thursday.Speaking at around 5:15, senior VP Chaim Bloom s...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Winter meetings journal: Rays trade for money to sign top international free agent

LAKE BUENA VISTA — While most of the business conducted at the meetings impacts the big-league team one way or another, the Rays are working to finalize a move they hope pays off big sometime in the 2020s.In trading Wednesday to acquire $1 million in...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

UPDATE, 5:55: Trade talks apparently picked up this afternoon, perhaps related to previous activity by other teams, and for first time Rays officials sound like something could happen tonight."At this point today, some of those conversations are movi...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Market starting to set itself as Rays’ trade talks intensify

Market starting to set itself as Rays’ trade talks intensify

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Alex Colome claimed he was just showing good social media manners Tuesday night in following four Cardinals-related Instagram accounts since they were saying nice things about him.In doing so, whether for that reason or another mor...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Market starting to set itself

Market starting to set itself

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Alex Colome claimed he was just showing good social media manners Tuesday night in following four Cardinals-related Instagram accounts since they were saying nice things about him.In doing so, whether for that reason or another mor...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Times wires

INDIANAPOLIS — Paul George made a winning return to Indiana, hitting the clinching free throws with 10.7 seconds left in the Thunder’s 100-95 victory over the Pacers on Wednesday. Steven Adams had 23 points and 13 rebounds and Russell Westbrook finis...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Thursday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBoxingSuper Bantamweights: Salgado vs. Diego De La Hoya10:30 p.m.ESPN2College basketballBethune-Cookman at USF7 p.m.820-AMValparaiso at Northwestern8 p.m.Big TenSouthern at Baylor8:30 p.m.ESPN2College volleyball, NCAA semifinalsNebraska vs. Penn...
Updated: 6 hours ago