March 22, 2007
For the second consecutive time in Women's NIT play, Virginia sealed its victory in the waning seconds of play. This time freshman Monica Wright (Woodbridge, Va.) stole the ball on an in-bounds play, preventing South Florida from winning the game with just three seconds on the clock. The Cavaliers won the WNIT third round game, 73-71 on Thursday at John Paul Jones Arena.
Virginia improved to 19-14 overall, while the Bulls concluded their season at 21-12.
Virginia now travels to Wisconsin for the WNIT Quarterfinals on Sunday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. CT at the Kohl Center in Madison. The Badgers beat Kentucky, 67-61, in third round action on Thursday to advance.
UVa and USF got off to a a slow start as each team had several turnovers before scoring any points. The squads traded baskets before South Florida went ahead by eight, 22-14. The Cavaliers then utilized a 10-1 run to go ahead by one, 26-25 on a lay-up by Wright. UVa held a three-point edge at halftime, 34-31.
South Florida scored the first two buckets to open the second half and re-take the lead. However, UVa went on a 12-3 run to claim its biggest lead of the game, 48-41. While USF came within one point twice, UVa never relinquished the lead. Up by seven with 1:03 on the clock after two free throws from senior Siedah Williams (Cleveland, Ohio), USF responded with a three-pointer by Shantia Grace, its first bucket from long range in 10 tries. After a UVa turnover, Grace converted a lay-up to cut the lead to just two points, 73-71. On UVa's last possession, junior Sharneé Zoll (Marlboro, N.J.) attempted a three-pointer with 16 seconds to go. On USF's drive up the court, the ball was knocked out of bounds. On the in-bounds pass, Wright stole the ball, sealing the Cavalier win.
Sophomore Lyndra Littles (Washington, D.C.) paced UVa with 23 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Williams followed with 13 points and eight boards, while Wright and freshman Paulisha Kellum (Upper Marlboro, Md.) added 11 points each.
Grace paced USF with 19 points. Nalini Miller added 14 points, while Jessica Dickson had 12. Rachael Sheats rounded out the double-digit scoring with 11 points.
Overall, Virginia out-rebounded South Florida, 34-33.