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Bulls help cause of improving Big East tourney seed

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Allyson Speed hit a 3-pointer with less than 4 seconds remaining as USF kept alive its hopes of defending its WNIT title, defeating Louisville 63-60 on Saturday.

The Bulls (15-13, 6-9 Big East) spoiled the party for Louisville in the final regular-season women's game to be played in Freedom Hall.

Speed led USF with a career-high 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field, all from 3-point range.

Jessica Lawson scored 17 and KeNeisha Saunders 15 for the Bulls, and Tahira Johnson had 11 rebounds, a career high.

Louisville led 58-56 with 1:27 remaining when Lawson's bucket tied it with 1:10 left. Beck Burke missed a 3-pointer for the Cardinals (13-15, 5-10), last season's NCAA Tournament runnerup.

Saunders put the Bulls up two, 60-58, with 44 seconds remaining. Keshia Hines tied it at 60 for Louisville on a layup with 33 seconds left.

Burke had one chance to tie it after Speed's final 3-pointer, but Tiffany Conner blocked the shot.

The Bulls close their regular season Monday at home against DePaul.

USF is tied for ninth in the league with Syracuse and can finish no higher than the eighth seed — but that would give the Bulls a first-round bye in the Big East tournament, to be held Friday through March 9 at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. Providence is eighth at 7-8.

Top 25

NO. 1 UCONN 84, NO. 13 G'TOWN 62: Tina Charles scored a season-high 33 and grabbed 15 rebounds in Hartford, Conn., as the Huskies (29-0, 15-0) earned their 68th consecutive victory, two shy of their own record for the longest winning streak in women's Division I basketball. The Hoyas (24-5, 12-3) led for almost 10 minutes in the first half.

NO. 2 STANFORD 75, ARIZONA 48: Kayla Pedersen scored 26 and Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 15 for the visiting Cardinal (27-1, 17-0 Pac-10).

NO. 3 NEBRASKA 67, MISSOURI 51: Kelsey Griffin set a school record with 17 free throws, accounting for all but two of her points, for the host Cornhuskers (27-0, 14-0 Big 12) in front of 13,595, the first sellout in program history.

NO. 7 NOTRE DAME 72, SETON HALL 47: Lindsay Schrader scored 12 for the visiting Irish (25-3, 12-3 Big East), who closed both halves with big runs.

NO. 8 W. VA. 69, MARQUETTE 56: Korinne Campbell scored a career-high 21 for the Mountaineers (26-3, 13-2 Big East), who finished a perfect 17-0 at home this season.

NO. 11 OKLAHOMA 75, NO. 14 TEXAS 60: Nyeshia Stevenson made six 3-pointers on her way to 28 points for the visiting Sooners (20-8, 10-4 Big 12), who took command with a 19-2 run in the first half against the Longhorns (19-9, 8-6).

NO. 12 TEXAS A&M 95, COLO. 61: Adaora Elonu scored a career-high 21 despite battling a stomach virus for the visiting Aggies (20-7, 8-6 Big 12).

NO. 15 IOWA ST. 48, KANSAS ST. 39: Chelsea Poppens scored 18 for the host Cyclones (22-5, 10-4), who kept their hold on second place in the Big 12 standings with two games left.

NO. 18 ST. JOHN'S 69, VILLANOVA 42: Da'Shena Stevens scored 22 points for the host Red Storm (23-5, 11-4 Big East), which has earned its most wins in 26 years.

NO. 19 GONZAGA 83, SAN FRAN. 35: Heather Bowman scored 21 after coming back from an ankle injury for the visiting Bulldogs (25-4, 14-0 West Coast), who outscored the Dons 42-18 in the paint to cap an unbeaten league campaign.

NO. 24 HARTFORD 61, VERMONT 51: Diana Delva had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the host Hawks (25-3, 16-0 America East) in their regular-season finale.

POSTPONEMENT: The game between No. 5 Xavier and Fordham in the Bronx was moved to today because of a snowstorm in the Northeast.

Bulls help cause of improving Big East tourney seed 02/27/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 27, 2010 11:27pm]
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