BY: John Mamola
USF Junior guard Shemiye McLendon’s free throw with 0.8 seconds left in overtime gave South Florida a big 79-78 win over in state rival UCF on Wednesday night.
USF used its strength and size to dominate the paint, but the Bulls weren't quick enough to cover the perimeter and UCF used the advantage to hang right with the Bulls, trailing just 37-36 at halftime.
The Bulls led 78-72 with 1:48 left in overtime after Victor Rudd scored on a driving layup, but UCF rallied quickly to tie the score with 55 seconds left. After a USF miss, the Knights ran the clock down under 5 seconds, but Sykes' attempt to slip between three USF defenders resulted in a blocked shot.
With time running out in overtime, McLendon was fouled by Kasey Wilson with less than a second left as he dribbled the ball on UCF's side of the court after John Egbunu blocked a driving layup attempt by Sykes that could have won the game.
McLendon made one free throw and intentionally missed the second one.
UCF's Newell rebounded and heaved a full-court desperation shot that banged off the back iron as the buzzer sounded.
Victor Rudd scored eight of USF’s nine points in the overtime and finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Senior guard Martino Brock contributed 17 points and seven boards for the Bulls off the bench.
Isaiah Sykes led the Knights with 24 points and 12 rebounds while Matt Williams added 12 and Kasey Wilson had 11 for UCF as they lose their sixth straight.