TAMPA, DEC. 31, 2016 – The University of South Florida men’s basketball team (6-7, 0-2 The American) led for the majority of the opening half but foul trouble and a second-half scoring drought set back the Bulls in a 70-56 loss to Houston (11-3, 2-0) on Saturday afternoon.
The Bulls started the contest with a 6-0 advantage and led for 15:37 in the opening half. Sophomore guard Troy Holston (Queens, N.Y.) piloted the USF offense early with 12 first half points.
Houston then worked their way back into the game with seven made three-pointers and utilized a 9-0 run shortly before halftime to take a 38-34 edge into the break.
The Bulls encountered foul trouble early on in the second half with junior guard Geno Thorpe (Pittsburgh) picking up his third at the 19:12 mark. Following the fourth personal foul by freshman guard Mike Bibby (Phoenix), UH went on a 12-0 run to pull away for the victory.
Guards Damyean Dotson and Rob Gray totaled 25 points each for Houston.
Freshman forward Malik Fitts (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) tallied a career-high tying 12 points. He also grabbed six rebounds.
Holston notched a season-high 16 points off the bench, in just his second game back from injury (missed four games).
Junior center Ruben Guerrero (Spain) collected a team-leading seven rebounds. He also rejected one shot. Guerrero now has 102 blocks in his USF career, tying Augustus Gilchrist for eighth most in program history.
Redshirt freshman forward Tulio Da Silva (Brazil) netted 10 points in his return to the starting lineup.
The Cougars outrebounded the Bulls 38-37, snapping a five-game streak in which USF outrebounded the opponent.
USF is on the road next at SMU on Jan. 7 at 5 p.m.
The Bulls return home to host Tulane on Jan. 11. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. at the Sun Dome. Reserve your seats at USFBullsTix.com. Fans out of town can catch the game on ESPNU.
USF has retired three numbers in its 46-year history: Chucky Atkins (12), Charlie Bradley (30) and Radenko Dobras (31). The Bulls have earned three NCAA tournament bids and appeared in the NIT eight times. In the 2011-12 season, USF was one win away from an appearance in the Sweet 16.
For tickets, contact the USF Ticket Office at 1-800-Go-Bulls or by going online to USFBullsTix.com.