USF

Bulls Band Together for First Conference Win

February 11, 2017
By  USF

TAMPA, FEB. 11, 2017 – The University of South Florida men’s basketball team (7-17, 1-12 The American) ended a 12-game losing streak with a 64-57 win over East Carolina (11-14, 3-9) on Saturday night.

Junior guard Geno Thorpe (Pittsburgh) piloted the Bulls to their first conference victory with a game-high 22 points and eight assists. Redshirt freshman forward Tulio Da Silva (Brazil) also posted double-figure points with 13 and grabbed another seven rebounds.

The Bulls had to dig themselves out of an early deficit as ECU started the game on an 11-2 run.

USF rallied back to tie the game at 15 with eight straight points, including a fastbreak dunk by Da Silva and a midrange Malik Fitts jumper to even up the score with 9:24 on the clock.

The Bulls then held the Pirates scoreless for the final 4:30 of the opening stanza, going on a 13-0 run and taking a 33-22 advantage into halftime.

The USF surge continued into the second half when the Bulls also scored the next four points to tally 17 consecutive points against ECU.

After swapping a few baskets, the Pirates went on a 12-2 run to draw within four, 50-46, with 5:58 remaining in regulation. It would be the closest ECU would get in the second half as USF made eight free throws down the stretch to seal the seven point victory.

Key Stat

  • USF held ECU scoreless for 7:06 including 4:30 at the end of the first half and the next 2:36 of the second half.

Quotables

Interim head coach Murry Bartow on his team’s performance:

“I’m just proud of the guys. Their spirit is so incredibly good. Practices have been great. The energy has been good. Obviously we’ve lost a lot of game in a row but they never pout, they never get down and they never feel sorry for themselves. We knew at some point we’d get one. Tonight’s the night.”

Coach Bartow on the player’s willingness to listen and grow:

“We (as coaches) are very demanding in terms of what we’re trying to do but the players want to be coached and they want to listen. I’m just proud of that resiliency.”

Notables

  • Thorpe achieved his 16th double-figure point game this season and fourth contest of 20+ points.  
  • Da Silva notched his 14th double-figure game.
  • USF committed just nine turnovers in the contest, a season-low.
  • The Bulls turned 15 ECU turnovers into 22 points.
  • The USF bench outpaced ECU 39-10.
  • On Saturday, USF made five, three pointers, giving the team 24 this month. The Bulls are participating in the Coaches vs. Cancer Three Point Challenge throughout February. Learn more/donate HERE.

Up Next

The Bulls remain at home to host No. 11 Cincinnati on Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. Purchase tickets HERE.

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.

The Bulls feature freshman Tulio Da Silva, junior Ruben Guerrero, sophomore Troy Holston and junior Geno Thorpe.

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.

– #GoBulls –

  • USF committed just nine turnovers in the contest, a season-low.

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