USF captures first-ever NCAA Tournament win
Lubbock, TX – Inga Orekhova scored 20 points, leading four players in double figures, as the South Florida Bulls held on to defeat the Texas Tech Lady Raiders, 71-70, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at United Spirit Arena.
Andrell Smith pitched in with 13 points for the 10th-seeded Bulls (22-10), followed by Courtney Williams and Alisia Jenkins with 12 and 10 points, respectively, as they secured their first NCAA Tournament win in program history.
The seventh-seeded Raiders (21-11) were paced by Christine Hyde who dropped in 20 points, while Chynna Brown accounted for 17 and Kelsi Baker 15 points before fouling out.
Texas Tech shot a disappointing 33.3 percent from the floor in the first half, including 2-of-11 behind the 3-point line, yet the Lady Raiders still led by a point at the break, 31-30.
Late in the second half a pair of free throws by Jenkins gave USF a 71-67 advantage before Tech's Casey Morris nailed her only field goal of the night, a 3-pointer, at the buzzer. Morris finished the outing just 1-of-7 beyond the arc and 1-of-12 from the floor overall.
In a game that featured eight ties and nine lead changes, the Bulls survived despite suffering 16 turnovers.
With the victory, the Bulls now head to the second round in the Spokane Region where they will clash with second-seeded California which defeated Fresno State earlier in the day.