PHILADELPHIA, FEB. 5, 2017 – Despite outscoring the Owls 51-37 in the second half, the University of South Florida men’s basketball team (6-16, 0-11 The American) was defeated 83-74 at Temple (13-11, 4-7) on Sunday afternoon.
Pennsylvania native Geno Thorpe (Pittsburgh) led the resilient rally for the Bulls. The junior guard, who missed the last two games with an injury, registered a career-high 25 points in the contest, including 23 in the second half.
Redshirt freshman forward Tulio Da Silva (Brazil) matched his career-best with 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting.
USF found themselves in an early hole as the Owls began the game with 12 of the first 14 points. Soon thereafter, the Bulls lowered the deficit to five, 15-10, with a 6-0 run in just 58 seconds. However, Temple would regain momentum by making eight three pointers in the opening half and going on a 13-0 run into the break.
The Bulls trailed 46-23 to begin the second half and fell behind by as many as 27 points. That didn’t stop USF from surging back into the game. Midway through the half, USF built a 15-3 run, including 10 points from Thorpe. The burst pulled the Bulls within 11, 68-57, with 6:09 to play. USF then lowered the difference to nine with 1:50 remaining but that’s as close as the Bulls would get in the road loss.
Guard Geno Thorpe was 10-of-13 from the floor in the second half, helping the Bulls shoot 67 percent (22-for-33) after halftime.
“We fought hard – the first half not so much, but the second half was an inspiring effort. We beat them by 14 (in the second half) on their home floor. We just can’t spot a team that big a lead and expect to win.”
Bartow on what stands out about his team:
“This group doesn’t give in easily. The fire and resiliency is there. We just need to put it together for 40 minutes.”
Four Bulls scored in double figures. Sophomore forward Luis Santos (Bronx, N.Y.) tallied 12 points, two shy of tying his career high. Sophomore guard Troy Holston (Queens, N.Y.) added 11 points.
Holston also set a career-best with five assists.
Santos rejected three shots, a career high.
In addition to 25 points, Thorpe also compiled six assists.
USF shot 52 percent in the game. It was the second time this year the Bulls were over 50 percent in back-to-back games.
The team’s 17 assists were one shy of tying a season-high (18, UCF, 1/17).
USF created 11 steals. It was the fifth time this year the Bulls finished with 10 or more steals.
On Sunday, USF made five, three pointers, giving the team 12 this month. The Bulls are participating in the Coaches vs. Cancer Three Point Challenge throughout February. Learn more/donate HERE
USF continues a two-game roadswing at UConn on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The Bulls return home to host East Carolina on Feb. 11. Tip time is set for 8 p.m. at the Sun Dome.
About USF Men’s Basketball
The USF men’s basketball team is led by interim head coach Murry Bartow. Coach Bartow has served as a collegiate basketball coach for 30 seasons and boasts eight postseason tournaments, including four NCAA Tournaments.
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.