TAMPA, MARCH 5, 2017 – Despite a game-high 21 points from junior Geno Thorpe (Pittsburgh) and another 14 points from sophomore Luis Santos (Bronx, N.Y.), the University of South Florida men’s basketball team (7-22, 1-17 The American) was defeated 72-60 by Temple (16-15, 7-11) on Sunday afternoon.
Temple hit four of its first five three-pointers to put USF in an early deficit. Trailing 12-9, the Bulls rallied back with an 8-0 run capped on a three by freshman forward Malik Fitts (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.).
The back-and-forth half featured four ties and five lead changes. Following ties at 14, 16, 18, and 20, the Owls finished the opening stanza on a 15-6 run.
After the break, USF cut the Temple advantage to four, 44-40, on a Geno Thorpe three at the 15:09 mark. However, the Owls would go on a 14-5 surge to rebuild a double-digit lead. The Bulls would only get as close as seven the rest of the afternoon in the defeat.
Both teams made 25 field goals but Temple made 11 treys compared to USF’s five.
“My gosh, Ruben and Luis just continue to battle and fight and compete…The two of them combined to get us 22 points and 14 rebounds.. Against UCF, they also got us 12 and 18. They’re incredible kids. Great attitude, great energy. Whatever I ask them to do they’re 100 percent all in. I just can’t say enough about those two.”
Santos was two points shy of matching his career high (16, at Tulane, 2/18/17). The forward also grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots.
Thorpe tallied 20+ points for the seventh time this year. He was 8-of-16 shooting, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Thorpe also registered five assists and five rebounds.
Junior center Ruben Guerrero (Spain) totaled eight points and eight rebounds.
Redshirt freshman forward Tulio Da Silva (Brazil) set a new career best with four steals.
The Bulls won the rebounding edge 39-35. It was the fourth time in the last five games that USF has outrebounded the opponent.
Four Temple players scored in double figures.
USF’s next game will be in the 2017 Frontier Communications American Athletic Conference Tournament in Hartford, Conn. The Bulls will play No. 6 UConn on Thursday, March 9 at 8 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPNews.
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.