WHO: Youngstown State (6-4) at USF (5-3)
WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday
WHERE: Sun Dome
TV: BHSN (Adam Kohler and Anddrikk Frazier); ESPN3
RADIO: 98.7-FM The Fan (Jim Lighthall and Todd Kalas)
By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - The well-rested Bulls return to action Tuesday night against a Horizon League opponent that's on a roll.
The USF men's basketball team plays its first game since Dec. 5 when it takes on Youngstown State at 7 p.m. in the Sun Dome. The two teams have faced off once, ironically on Dec. 18 in 1984, with the Bulls coming away with a 63-56 victory.
The Bulls (5-3) suffered a 61-49 loss at No. 22/23 Oklahoma State the last time out, but they continued to be smart with the ball. USF ranks 11th in the country in turnovers (10.4) and has posted less than 10 in each of the past three games.
Point guard Anthony Collins has had a lot to do with USF's efficiency and the sophomore currently ranks sixth in the country in assists with 7.9 per contest. Senior Toarlyn Fitzpatrick leads the Bulls in scoring (12.5 ppg) and Jawana Poland (10 ppg) continues to give head coach Stan Heath solid production off the bench.
Youngstown State (6-4) rides a three-game winning streak into Tampa and most recently defeated Hiram, 71-44, on Dec. 8. Like USF, the Penguins got a valuable victory against Georgia earlier this season. Youngstown State has used the same starting five all season and has gotten consistent production from Kendrick Perry (16.3 ppg) who is 47 points away from reaching 1,000 in his career.
Tuesday's game is the first of three straight home contests for the Bulls. USF hosts Bowling Green State on Friday at 7 p.m. and George Mason on Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. The Bulls wrap up their non-conference season at UCF on Jan. 2 before hosting Syracuse in the Big East opener on Jan. 6.
- Sophomore guard Musa Abdul-Aleem made his USF debut against Oklahoma State and scored two points in four minutes.
- USF is 4-2 at home this season and opponents are averaging just under 60 points at the Sun Dome.
- Five of the Bulls' eight opponents this season have been held to less than 60 points.
- Youngstown State has three players from the state of Florida and senior Blake Allen will be returning to his hometown. He finished his high school career at Brandon with 2,006 points, which ranked him 11th in Hillsborough County history.