Jan. 28, 2006
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Ezria Parsons hit a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left to force overtime, then Jessica Jackson hit a key 3-pointer for South Florida, which survived a late rally to beat No. 21 Notre Dame 68-64 on Saturday.
The Bulls, who led by as many as 15 points, needed Jackson's 3-pointer with 2:12 left in overtime for a 65-62 lead. Notre Dame cut the lead to a point on a fastbreak layup by Charel Allen. But Jessica Dickson, who scored 13 of her 18 points after halftime, hit a pair of free throws with 20 seconds left for a 67-64 lead.
Megan Duffy, who led Notre Dame (12-7, 3-5 BIG EAST) with 25 points, had a chance to tie it, but she put up an air-ball from 3-point range with 3 seconds left. The Irish lost for the sixth time in their last nine games.
South Florida (14-7, 4-4) enjoyed its second overtime victory against a ranked team this season. The Bulls beat then-No. 11 DePaul 79-77 on Dec. 7.
Two South Florida starters, Rachel Sheats and Shantia Grace, fouled out midway through the second half of the physical game.
South Florida appeared to take control midway through the first half after Duffy hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 20-18 with 8:51 left. The Bulls, using a man-to-man defense, held Notre Dame without a field goal the rest of the half, outscoring the Irish 14-3 to take a 34-21 halftime lead.
Notre Dame didn't hit a field goal for the first 4 minutes of the second half either, but the Bulls missed their first 11 shots. The Irish came within one point twice before Duffy's layup finally gave them a 47-46 lead.
Duffy's free throws extended the Irish lead to 58-55 with 24 seconds left. But Parsons, who was just 2-of-11 from 3-point range this season, hit a 3 from the top of the key as she was falling down to force the overtime.
Jackson finished with 12 points and Nalini Miller had 10 points and seven rebounds for South Florida. The Bulls had a 48-42 edge in rebounds.
Lindsay Schrader had 12 points for Notre Dame and Allen added 10.
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame is 1-1 in overtime games this season, with both contests coming in BIG EAST Conference play and both at home ... in each case, the OT was forced when the visitors hit a desperation three-pointer in the final three seconds of regulation (Marquette's Krystal Ellis banked in a trey at the regulation horn on Jan. 10) ... Notre Dame loses its first-ever BIG EAST regular-season overtime game in four opportunities ... the Irish played multiple OT games for the second time in three seasons, but only the seventh time in school history; the ND record for overtime games in one year is three, set in 1995-96 ... the loss to South Florida marked only the second time in the past 11 seasons that Notre Dame has followed up a double-digit loss with a defeat at home in its next game (now 25-2 at home; 40-7 overall in such games) ... the Irish are 14-3 when playing a new BIG EAST team for the first time, with two of those losses coming this season (Louisville and USF) ... the Bulls pick up their first win in three series matchups with Notre Dame and become just the second Florida-based team ever to defeat the Irish (Miami won three times, including twice at the Joyce Center) ... Saturday's loss also was just the second for Notre Dame this season in games decided by five points or less -- the Irish are now 5-2 in such contests ... five of Notre Dame's eight BIG EAST games have been decided by four points or less, with the Irish going 3-2 in those outings ... the Irish nearly won after overcoming a 15-point first-half deficit, which would have marked their third such double-digit comeback of the season (trailed by 11 vs. Marquette and 12 vs. #10 DePaul in their previous two home games, but rallied to win both) ... Notre Dame did hold USF to an opponent season-low 24 points in the second half, one fewer the totals posted by Michigan (Nov. 18) and Marquette (Jan. 10) ... senior All-America guard Megan Duffy posted her sixth 20-point game of the season (third of 25 or more) and now has 1,127 points, moving into 17th place on the Irish career scoring list ahead of Danielle Green (1,106 from 1995-2000) ... Duffy also recorded her 200th career steal, becoming the fifth player in school history to amass 1,000 career points and 200 career steals, joining Karen Robinson (1,590p/228s), Krissi Davis (1,194p/226s), Katryna Gaither (2,126p/207s) and Niele Ivey (1,430p/348s) in that select company; with 456 assists, she is 44 handouts shy of joining Robinson (579a) and Ivey (727a) as the only Irish players ever to log 1,000 points, 500 assists and 200 steals in their careers ... freshman guard Lindsay Schrader had 12 points, her first double-digit scoring game since Dec. 28 vs. Valparaiso (13 points) and her seventh of the season ... freshman forward Chandrica Smith turned in her second consecutive solid outing with six points (2-3 FG, 2-2 FT), three rebounds and two steals in 11 minutes ... sophomore guard Charel Allen's eight rebounds were one off her career high, which she has set three times (most recently against Utah on Dec. 18 in Las Vegas).