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Next up for USF women: Pitt on Friday

Posted Feb 27, 2012 by Joey Johnston

Updated Feb 28, 2012 at 12:17 AM

The University of South Florida women’s basketball team, getting a game-tying deep 3-pointer from Inga Orekhova with 5.6 seconds remaining in regulation, battled past the Providence Friars 64-56 in overtime on Monday night to clinch the No. 9 seed in the Big East Conference Tournament.

USF (16-14, 8-8) will face No. 16-seeded Pittsburgh (8-21, 0-16) in Friday’s first round at Hartford, Conn.

By finishing at .500 in the Big East regular-season race, the Bulls likely are assured of a spot in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. USF won the WNIT in 2009. But Bulls coach Jose Fernandez hasn’t given up on long-shot hopes for the NCAA Tournament. By winning a few games in the Big East Tournament, Fernandez said, “They’ll have to give us a look.’‘

Fernandez was delighted that USF sent out its lone senior, Jasmine Wynne, with a fitting finale. Wynne had 15 points. Orekhova led all scorers with 17 points, while Sasha Bernard added 13 points.

USF’s eight Big East victories represented a five-game improvement from last season, the largest jump by any conference women’s team this year.

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