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Courtesy: J. Meric
Bulls' Win Streak Over Villanova Snapped at Four
Team 1st 2nd OT Final
Villanova 34 27 -- 61
USF
20 33 -- 53

 

By TOM ZEBOLD

USF Senior Writer

TAMPA – The Bulls saw a shot at a fifth straight win over Villanova slip away early Wednesday night.

A 3-pointer by Toarlyn Fitzpatrick gave USF its lone lead of the game in the first three minutes as the Wildcats used a strong inside game to beat the Bulls, 61-53, before a crowd of 5,014 at the Sun Dome.

"You have to come ready to play from the beginning and we didn't do that," said Fitzpatrick, who finished with 10 points in USF's second consecutive loss to open up Big East play.

Mouphtaou Yarou led three Wildcats in double figures with 16 points and his 13 rebounds helped his team finish with a 42-32 edge on the boards. Villanova also had a 30-14 advantage in points in the paint as the Wildcats (11-4, 2-0) recorded their first win over USF since Jan. 6, 2011. The teams will meet back up Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Pavilion in Villanova, Pa.

Victor Rudd led USF (9-5, 0-2) with 12 points while battling the flu bug along with Jawanza Poland, who finished with four points and six rebounds. Anthony Collins also was in double figures with 11 points, but USF shot just 36 percent from the field.

"I think that was probably the best game we've played this year. That was our best defensive effort," said head coach Jay Wright of his Villanova team that's won seven in a row.

The Wildcats' success close to the hoop started early and helped them grab a 34-20 halftime lead while the Bulls started 7-for-23 from the field. Yarou's 10 rebounds helped Villanova grab a 26-15 edge on the boards while the Wildcats started with an 18-4 advantage in points in the paint.

"The start was helpful before they could get into a rhythm," Wright said. "They're a dangerous team when you get behind on them. We know last year we got behind them three times, and once you get behind them it's almost impossible."

USF had been outrebounded just once in its past five games heading into the battle with the Wildcats and head coach Stan Heath said Villanova's size was an issue.

"Give their bigs credit. Villanova's bigs dominated the game tonight and we just didn't have an answer," he said.

Villanova pumped its lead up to 18 with a 4-0 run to start the second half and the Wildcats kept their advantage in double digits until a Rudd 3-pointer cut it to 49-41 with 7:04 to play. Villanova answered with two straight field goals in the paint by Yarou and Daniel Ochefu, and the Wildcats' lead never dipped below double digits until JaVontae Hawkins' buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end.

"I think the most important thing we can do right now is watch the film and fix some of the things we can fix," Heath said.

The Bulls have a shot to bounce back in a big way 4 p.m. Saturday when take on No. 3 Louisville in Kentucky. USF stays on the road to face Rutgers on Thursday, Jan. 17 before returning to the Sun Dome to host Georgetown on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 6 p.m.

NOTES

- Kore White missed his fourth straight game with a foot injury.

- Shaun Noriega was out for the fifth straight game with a foot injury.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USF FG-A 3FG-A FT-A  Pts. 
Victor Rudd 3-11 1-5 5-6 12
Villanova
FG-A  3FG-A  FT-A Pts. 
Mouphtaou Yarou 6-11 0-0 4-5 16
USF Off. Def. Total
Jawanza Poland 1 5 6
Villanova Off. Def. Tota

Mouphtaou Yarou

3 10 13
USF Asst. Stl.  Blk. 
Anthony Collins 4 1 0
Villanova Asst. Stl. Blk.
James Bell 1 2 1



USF Men's Basketball




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