Courtney Williams came off the bench and scored 31 points and No. 6 seed South Florida held on late to defeat Colorado State 48-45 in an NCAA Tournament first-round game Saturday night.
Williams, a non-starter for the first time this year, scored 18 of the Bulls' 25 second-half points to carry South Florida into the second round where the Rams will meet No. 3 seed UCLA on Monday. The Bruins defeated Hawai'i 66-50 earlier Saturday.
Jamie Patrick scored 17 points and Ellen Nostrum added 12 for Colorado State (31-2), the No. 11 seed and Mountain West Tournament champions. The loss ended a 28-game winning streak for the Rams.
South Florida forced Colorado State into 13 turnovers, and outscored the Rams 18-4 in points off those miscues.
Williams finished 12-of-29 shooting, with the rest of the Bulls combining to make 6-of-31.
The Bulls' leading scorer who started every game this season entered the game with 4:41 left in the first quarter and South Florida trailing 10-1.
Alisia Jenkins grabbed 12 rebounds lead South Florida, which out rebounded Colorado State 40-36.
With South Florida trailing 28-25, Williams scored 12 points in a 15-4 run over 7:46 to push the Bulls to a 40-32 lead at the end of the third quarter.
South Florida led 46-34 when Colorado State reeled off 11 of the next 14 points, pulling within 48-45 on Hannah Tvrdy's 3-pointer with 1:52 to play.
Ellen Gustavsson and Patrick missed 3-point shots to tie in the final minute, and Tvrdy intercepted an inbounds pass with 2 seconds left and called time out as the buzzer went off. Officials ruled no player touched the ball, and awarded Colorado State a final possessions with 1.6 seconds to play.
Sofie Tryggedsson got off a 3-pointer from the left corner as time expired, but the shot rimmed out.
Colorado State: The Rams' only other loss this year came at Penn 49-48 on Nov. 24.
South Florida: The Bulls are in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in 11 years, carrying a 2/3 Tournament mark with them. Their sixth-seed ties the highest seed the program has ever achieved. South Florida comes into the tournament off its second consecutive appearance in the American Athletic Conference championship game.
Colorado State: The Rams' season ends with a 31-2 record.
South Florida: The Bulls play UCLA in second round of the NCAA Tournament on Monday.