The University of South Florida's Shantia Grace scored 27 points to lead the Bulls (19-9, 6-8) to a 76-69 upset of DePaul (20-8, 8-6).
"This was a real big win after coming off giving up 90 points at West Virginia," said Bulls' head coach Jose Fernandez. "This was big for us just because this league is so good. We have so many teams that are NCAA worthy. DePaul is a Top 25 team and an NCAA tournament team already."
Grace, averaging 14.7 ppg, scored 16 in the first half. Her first half firepower was matched by DePaul freshman Keisha Hampton's 14 points as the Demons grabbed a 39-34 lead at the break. Hampton was held scoreless in the second half.
DePaul had jumped out to a 14-4 lead with 5:00 gone, but the Bulls went on a 15-2 run to take a 19-16 lead.
"What we needed to do was stop Naughton," said Fernandez. "I think she is one of the best guards in the league."
The Bulls' game plan was helped by Naughton herself as she picked up her 4th foul with 12:07 left to play. Teammate Felicia Chester picked up her 4th foul two minutes later. Naughton finished with 10 points and Chester added 13 points and six boards.
A Sam Quigley three-pointer at the 9:02 mark gave DePaul its last lead of the game at 57-56. 8-10 free throw shooting by the Bulls in the last minute of the game sealed the win.
"We hit some big shots in the second half," said Fernandez. "Janae Stokes in transition hit some [big shots]. Every time Naughton or Quigley hit a bomb, we answered back. When those shots happen, momentum swings and changes and we answered."
"South Florida came into our court and plain flat out beat us in the hustle areas of the game," said DePaul head coach Doug Bruno. "When we did get them to miss shots we did not control the defensive glass efficiently."
Stokes, ranked number one in the country in three-pointers made per game, added 20 points on 6-9 shooting from behind the arc for the Bulls.
DePaul finishes up this season's home campaign against Marquette this Saturday.
South Florida Upsets DePaul
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