7:30 PM ET, December 1, 2004
STORRS, Conn. (AP) -- Eighth-ranked Connecticut narrowly avoided its first two-game losing streak in 12 seasons, beating South Florida 75-65 Wednesday night with Barbara Turner getting eight of her 23 points in overtime. Willnett Crockett finished with a career-high 18 points and 15 rebounds, including several key defensive rebounds in the extra session. The Huskies (2-1) were coming off a defeat to North Carolina 10 days earlier, and had not lost consecutively since the 1992-93 season. It was the first overtime game in Gampel Pavilion since the arena opened in 1990. The Huskies haven't lost to an unranked team since 1993. Andrea Gilmore led the Bulls (5-3) with 20 points. Her 3-pointer with 22.6 seconds left in regulation tied the game at 65. The Huskies had one last chance to win it in regulation, but Turner missed a shot in the closing seconds. The Huskies, who struggled all night against the faster Bulls, came up with key defensive plays in the extra period. Crockett and freshman Charde Houston pilled down with several defensive rebounds, and Houston also blocked a shot. The Bulls went 0-for-5 in overtime. The Huskies had a four-point lead at the break and never trailed in the second half. They led by as many as seven points in the half, but were unable to put away the Bulls, who closed with a 6-2 run. Houston finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Jessica Dickson had 19 points for the Bulls before fouling out with less than 2 minutes left in overtime. UConn stumbled through the first 10 minutes of the game. The Bulls took advantage of five UConn turners, stunning the Huskies with a 21-4 run midway through the half. Dickson had 12 points, including three 3-pointers in the spurt that silenced a crowd of 10,000. UConn had just three baskets in that span, trailed 25-14 with 9:22 left in the half and was in desperate need of offense when Ann Strother and freshman guard Ketia Swanier came through for the defending NCAA champions. Strother's 3-pointer with 7:56 remaining started the Huskies on their own 21-4 run. Most of the surge was built on UConn's transition game. Swanier's steal and layup and her behind-the-back assist to Houston brought the Huskies and the crowd back into it, and UConn held a 35-31 lead at the break.