DAYTONA BEACH — USF blew several opportunities to pull out a victory Saturday, falling 65-61 to Arkansas in overtime in the Women's Basketball Invitational Tipoff.
USF (0-2) rallied late in regulation, forcing overtime when Caitlin Rowe grabbed a rebound and put it back to tie it at 56. But a costly turnover late in OT squelched a final chance.
"You don't lose games in the final minute of overtime," coach Jose Fernandez said. "There were so many opportunities to win this game early on, but we couldn't do it."
Arkansas opened the extra period with a 6-0 run before the Bulls came back.
USF cut the lead to 62-58 on a driving layup by Jasmine Wynne with 50 seconds left. Tahira Johnson then got fouled and hit the first free throw. She missed the second, but Tiffany Conner grabbed the rebound and put it back to cut it to 62-61 with 21 seconds left.
C'eira Ricketts, a preseason All-SEC selection who scored 28 for the Razorbacks, went to the line with 15 seconds left and hit 1 of 2 free throws. Andrell Smith took the ball up the right sideline but forced a pass to Saunders that was picked off.
Saunders had 16 points, all after halftime, and made all six free throws. Smith had 12 points and nine rebounds.
NO. 14 FSU 68, MINN. 56: Alexa Deluzio had 17 points and sparked a 15-2 run in the final minutes with back-to-back 3-pointers, leading the Seminoles (2-0) in the WBI Tipoff.
Rachel Banham's 3-pointer with 6:39 to play pulled the Golden Gophers within 51-50, but Florida State held Minnesota to two points in the next 5:34.
"The defensive end is where it happened," FSU coach Sue Semrau said. "To be able to buckle down on the second day (of the tournament), playing another BCS school and hold a team (nearly) scoreless for six minutes and only to six points — four free throws and one jumper — in the last seven minutes is a huge complement to our growth, and you want that."
ECKERD 60, UWF 58: Junior forward Krystal Charles spun away in the post and hit an 8-foot leaner with 4.8 seconds left to lift the host Tritons to a season-opening win.
CLAYTON ST. 55, TAMPA 47: The defending Division II national champion Lakers overcame 50 percent shooting by the host Spartans (0-2).
NO. 20 UNC 109, GARDNER-WEBB 44: Chay Shegog tied her career high with 19 points and had 10 rebounds and Laura Broomfield added 15 points and 14 rebounds for the host Tar Heels.
ST. BONAVENTURE 64, NO. 25 ST. JOHN'S 58: Megan Van Tatenhove had 16 points and Jessica Jenkins 14, and the visiting Bonnies rallied to their first victory over a ranked team since 2008 in the season opener for both.
COACH HITS MILESTONE: Villanova coach Harry Perretta became the 22nd Division I women's coach to reach 600 victories after the Wildcats beat Iona 76-47 in the Gaels' Tip-Off tournament in New Rochelle, N.Y.