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Women's basketball: South Florida Bulls coach becomes winningest in school history

TAMPA — Five years ago, Jose Fernandez was 36 games under .500. Now he's the winningest basketball coach — men's or women's — in USF history after picking up his 128th win Sunday afternoon with a 110-51 rout of Jackson State.

Fernandez (128-124) passes men's coach Bobby Paschal, who totaled 127 wins in 10 seasons with the Bulls from 1987-96. Fernandez's team helped him set the mark in record fashion, hitting a school-record 15 3-pointers against the Tigers. The Bulls' 73 points in the first half were the most ever in a half in the program's history.

"I'm very fortunate I've been able to surround myself with the quality kids we've had," said Fernandez, on pace for his sixth straight postseason appearance. "The staff I have this year is the best staff I've had. I'm very thankful and very grateful."

The Bulls (12-1) have won eight straight, matching their longest win streak in the past 32 years. Senior guard Jazmine Sepulveda led USF with 26 points, and no players were in the game more than 22 minutes. Guard Janae Stokes scored 20 off the bench, all in the first half, and forward Jessica Lawson had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

FSU edges LSU 61-57

BATON ROUGE, La. — Senior captain Mara Freshour hit an off-balance shot with 43 seconds left to give FSU the lead, then Courtney Ward and Jacinta Monroe hit free throws in the waning seconds as the Seminoles (10-4) held off LSU 61-57.

After Freshour's shot gave FSU a 58-57 edge, Ward forced a Tigers turnover and was fouled. She hit one free throw for a 59-57 lead with 11 seconds left.

LSU leading scorer Allison Hightower (20 points) missed a running left-hander and the Tigers (5-4) missed a putback attempt before Monroe secured a rebound and was fouled. She hit both free throws with three seconds left.

Ward scored a team-high 12 on 3-for-5 shooting, going 2-for-2 from 3-point range.

Top 25

No. 1 UConn 77, S. Carolina 48: Tina Charles scored 21 as the visiting Huskies (11-0) took control with an early 18-3 run. The Gamecocks have lost 21 straight to ranked opponents.

No. 2 UNC 102, W. Michigan 55: Italee Lucas scored 17 and the host Tar Heels (13-0) got win No. 797 for coach Sylvia Hatchell.

No. 4 Texas 79, UTEP 40: The Longhorns (11-0) advanced to Tuesday's final of the Surf 'N Slam Classic in San Diego. Texas faces San Diego State, which beat Sacramento State 75-47.

No. 6 Duke 78, Quinnipiac 50: Chante Black scored 17, grabbed 12 rebounds, blocked three shots and had a career-high eight steals for the Blue Devils (10-1). Black is the sixth player in ACC history with 1,000 points, 800 rebounds and 200 blocked shots in a career.

No. 10 Louisville 66, Morehead St. 38: Angel McCoughtry scored 17 as the host Cardinals (11-1) overcame 34 turnovers.

No. 11 Stanford 84, UC Davis 49: Jayne Appel had 16 points and nine rebounds and the host Cardinal (9-3) survived an off day.

No. 12 Notre Dame 68, Charlotte 61: Lindsay Schrader scored 19 for the visiting Irish (10-1).

No. 16 Virginia 83, Rider 38: Monica Wright scored 22, her seventh straight game topping 20, as the host Cavaliers (10-2) advanced to today's title game of the Cavalier Classic against Louisiana Tech.

No. 21 Okla. St. 80, N. Texas 54: Shaunte Smith scored 20 and the host Cowboys (9-2) won a game that featured 57 turnovers.

No. 22 Kansas St. 74, Wash. St. 58: Ashley Sweat scored 30 as the visiting Wildcats moved to 11-0 for the second time in school history (1968).

NebRASKA 62, No. 24 Arizona St. 58: Yvonne Turner scored 13, making two free throws with 18 seconds left, and the host Cornhuskers (9-3) rallied to beat the Sun Devils (8-4).

Information from Times wires was used in this report. For more news on instate colleges, go to tampabay.com/sports and click More Sports.

Women's basketball: South Florida Bulls coach becomes winningest in school history 12/28/08 [Last modified: Sunday, December 28, 2008 10:03pm]
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