SAN DIEGO — Elena Tsineke scored all four of USF’s points in overtime and finished with 23 points as the Bulls beat No. 17 Arkansas 66-65 on Wednesday in the San Diego Invitational.
USF welcomed the extra-time victory after losing in overtime on Tuesday in its tournament opener against No. 3 Ohio State.
Maria Alvarez forced overtime against Arkansas by making three free throws with 17 seconds left to tie it at 62. Arkansas was trapped in the corner at the other end and wasn’t able to get a shot off before the buzzer.
Tsineke opened the overtime session with a basket at 4:12 and USF led the rest of the way as neither team made another field goal. Arkansas was 0 for 4 in overtime.
Makayla Daniels had a layup attempt roll out with 19 seconds left for Arkansas, but the Razorbacks regained possession after a jump ball was called on the rebound. After a timeout at 15.5, Chrissy Carr missed a shot in the lane and Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu secured the rebound and the win.
Fankam Mendjiadeu finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds for USF (11-4). She was coming off a big game against Ohio State with a career-high 34 points and 17 rebounds.
USF was held to just five points in the second quarter after going scoreless for eight minutes. The Bulls were 2-of-13 shooting in the quarter and trailed 27-18 at halftime after turning it over 11 times.
Erynn Barnum scored 21 points and Daniels added 20 for Arkansas (13-2).
On Tuesday, Taylor Thierry made a driving layup with 5 seconds left in overtime as Ohio State closed with an 8-0 run in the final minute of the extra period to rally past USF 88-86.
Cotie McMahon scored 30 points and assisted on Thierry’s decisive shot. Taylor Mikesell shook off a horrific shooting night to make a tying 3-pointer with 15 seconds left in OT for the Buckeyes (13-0), who are off to their best start since they won their first 15 games in 2011-12.
“I knew this would be a big challenge for us,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. “We didn’t play very well in the first half, that’s for sure. Part of it was that we didn’t play well, and they did. But we played really hard in the second half and we found a way to win.”
Fankam Mendjiadeu had a monster game with 34 points and 17 rebounds for the Bulls, who led 86-80 with a minute left in OT before Eboni Walker started the Buckeyes’ rally with a layup.
Ohio State held Fankam Mendjiadeu without a field goal in overtime. She converted two free throws with 2:38 left for her final points.
Mikesell had been 0-for-6 from 3-point range before her tying basket. She finished 2 of 13 from the field and scored eight points.
After Mikesell’s 3, USF was looking for the game-winner when Sammie Puisis lost control of the ball, which went out of bounds beneath the basket. Ohio State raced downcourt and Thierry edged inside with the winning bucket.
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“That was a great way to end the game, but I feel we could’ve done a lot better,” McMahon said. “We’re capable of playing way better than we played in the first half. But a win is a win, and we took care of business when we had to.”
Puisis, who finished with 20 points, missed a 3-pointer for the Bulls with 9 seconds left in regulation and the game tied at 75.
USF led 21-11 after the first quarter and was still ahead by nine, 55-46, at the end of the third. Puisis made a 3 with 6 seconds left in the period.
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