TAMPA – USF hit the accelerator in the second half and
rolled past Youngstown State, 72-54, on Tuesday night at the Sun Dome.
The Bulls trailed by six with less than 15 minutes to
play before finishing with a 33-9 run that helped them improve to 6-3 overall
and 5-2 at home this season. Youngstown State (6-5) hit six of its first 10
shots after the break, but went 8-for-21 the rest of the way and didn’t have a
field goal in the final 9 minutes, 47 seconds before seeing its three-game winning
streak get snapped.
“I thought our defense kept turning it up, and turning it
up, and we finally were able to get the stops we needed,” USF head coach Stan
Victor Rudd posted a career-high 16 rebounds and a
season-high 16 points in USF’s first game since a loss at Oklahoma State on
“It makes me feel good as a player because when I rebound
everything else comes easy,” he said.
Anthony Collins added 14 points and seven assists, while
Toarlyn Fitzpatrick added 11 points in the series’ second installment. USF
defeated the Penguins, 63-56, ironically on the same day in 1984.
“I think we know we have all the pieces. It’s the point
of putting everything together and just playing together as a team,” said
Collins, who went 7-for-12 from the field.
Dunks by Rudd and Fitzpatrick capped off USF’s 7-0 run to
open the game while the Penguins missed their first six shots and took more
than three minutes to score.
Youngstown State heated up quickly after a timeout and
used a 9-0 run to take a 14-11 lead, powered by three straight 3-pointers. The
lead changed hands twice before Rudd went on a 7-0 run of his own to put the
Bulls ahead, 24-18, and the redshirt junior headed into the break with 10
The aggressive Penguins kept firing away from long range
and used two straight 3-pointers by Kendrick Perry to grab a 29-27 lead with
less than four minutes to go before halftime. Perry, the Penguins’ top scorer,
made four of Youngstown State’s seven 3-pointers in the half and his
buzzer-beating layup tied things up at 33.
“We didn’t give the respect Perry really deserved,” Heath
Perry had 14 points in the first half, but scored just
one more after the break before fouling out with 5:49 to play while his team
went 0-for-10 from the field after his exit.
“We let their best player go off in the first half and we
wanted to focus on trying to shut him down,” Rudd said.
Youngstown State became the sixth team to be held under
60 points this season against USF and the Penguins were hampered by a 27.6
shooting percentage after halftime.
They made a bunch of baskets and we were pretty poor in
transition all night. That was the major factor,” Penguins head coach Jerry
USF stays home to battle Bowling Green 7 p.m. Friday and hosts Geoge Mason on Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. before it wraps up the non-conference portion of the schedule at UCF on
Wednesday, Jan. 2. The Bulls’ first Big East game is Sunday, Jan. 6 against
Syracuse at noon inside the Sun Dome.
-The Bulls played without injured Shaun Noriega (foot)
and Javontae Hawkins (back).
-USF improved to 5-2 at home this season and has won its
past three games at the Sun Dome.
-The Bulls committed 10 turnovers after coming into the
game ranked 11th in the country in turnover average (10.4).
scored eight points and played 16 minutes in his second game as a Bull.