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Lady Rebels lose to South Florida in OT in tourney

The UNLV women’s basketball team rallied to force overtime before running out of steam Saturday, losing to South Florida 59-54 to open the BTI Classic at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Trailing 49-45, the Lady Rebels (5-4) got a Kelli Thompson layup with 25 seconds left in regulation, and after a missed Bulls free throw, Lenita Sanford hit a jumper to tie it at 49 with 11 seconds remaining.

South Florida’s Andrea Smith missed a jumper at the buzzer, but the Bulls outscored UNLV 10-5 in overtime.

Thompson led the Lady Rebels with 19 points, Jamie Smith had 13 rebounds and Sanford had four blocks. UNLV shot just 32 percent from the floor (18 of 57), including 2-for-12 from 3-point range (17 percent), and was 16-for-25 from the free-throw line.

Andrea Smith had 19 points for South Florida, which wasn’t much better offensively, shooting 32 percent (23 of 71), including 1-for-9 on 3-pointers (11 percent). But the Bulls hit 12 of 16 free throws, including all six in OT.

UNLV resumes play in the tournament at 7:30 p.m. today against Texas.

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