Blue Demons Fall at USF

TAMPA, Fla. – In the BIG EAST opener for both teams, the USF Bulls outlasted the No. 11/13 DePaul Blue Demons, 79-77, in overtime at the Sun Dome on Wednesday night. The loss was the first of the season for the Blue Demons and ended a 20-game regular-season win streak.

DePaul (7-1, 0-1 BIG EAST) opened up a 17-8 lead in the first nine minutes before the Blue Demons went scoreless for nearly five minutes. In that five-minute span, the Bulls closed the gap with a 7-0 run before Erin Carney ended the scoring draught with 6:36 left in the first half.

A three-pointer by Jessica Dickson gave USF their first lead of the game at 26-24 with 3:25 left before halftime. Suzanne Morrison answered on DePaul's next possession to tie the game at 26-26.

The two teams traded baskets over the remainder of the first half with Khara Smith getting the final bucket with 13 seconds left to give the Blue Demons a 33-32 lead at intermission.

The second period started similar to the first as DePaul increased the advantage to six points on a jumper by Allie Quigley. Dickson hit two three-pointers around a pair of jumpers by Sharon Cambridge to tie that game at 46-46 with just under 15 minutes left in the game.

Over the final 15 minutes, neither team led by more than three points with the score knotted on five occasions. In the last two minutes of regulation Dickson and Quigley matched jumpers to send the game into overtime at 64-64.

Ezria Parsons helped USF (6-1, 1-0 BIG EAST) claim the first lead of overtime on a driving layup. Quigley answered with a long three-pointer 10 seconds later to give DePaul what would be their final lead of the game.

After a bucket by Cambridge and two free throws by Dickson, Quigley hit her second three-pointer of the extra period to tie the score at 70-70 with 3:02 on the clock. Dickson scored seven of the final nine points for USF, including a 5-of-6 effort from the free throw line to seal the 79-77 win. Her final two free throws made the score 79-74 before Jenna Rubino hit a three-pointer at the buzzer.

Dickson led all scorers with 35 points and was one of four USF players to play at least 43 minutes. Parsons scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Bulls.

Rubino led the Blue Demons with 19 points, five rebounds and four assists followed by Khara Smith with 17 points and seven rebounds. Caprice Smith came off the bench to grab a career-high 13 boards to go with 12 points and Quigley scored 15 points with four assists. Claudette Towers dished out a career-high nine assists for the second straight game.

DePaul returns to non-conference play this weekend in a game against UW-Green Bay. Tipoff at the DePaul Athletic Center is set for 7 p.m. It is the first of two games in three days for the Blue Demons as they host Northern Illinois on Monday, Dec. 12.

Game Notes: The loss snapped a 20-game regular-season winning streak… the loss ended a 13-game winning streak in conference games… the last conference loss was at Marquette on Jan. 9, 2005… following that loss, the Blue Demons won 13 straight games… Khara Smith missed on a double-double for just the second time this season... Caprice Smith registered her first career double-double.

Official Box Score

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