WHO: Georgetown (12-3, 2-2) at USF (9-7, 0-4)
WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Sun Dome
TV: BEN,BHSN (Jason Benetti and Mark Wise)
RADIO: 98.7-FM The Fan, Sirius 85/XM 85 (Jim Lighthall and Jim Louk)
By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - Head coach Stan Heath liked what he saw from his Bulls on Thursday night and he wants to see more of it 6 p.m. Saturday when Georgetown visits the Sun Dome.
USF (9-7, 0-4) is coming off a 70-67 loss at Rutgers, but Heath was encouraged about what he saw from a Bulls team that showed growth. Freshmen JaVontae Hawkins and Zach LeDay combined to score 17 points, and senior Jawanza Poland put up a game-high 17 points to help power a USF team that averaged 45 points in losses to Syracuse, Villanova and Louisville. Four USF players finished in doubles figures for the first time since a 65-56 win at UCF on Jan. 2.
"I wanted to improve offensively and saw significant improvement in that area," Heath said.
The Bulls were outrebounded by a 134-82 margin in the first three games of their Big East run before bouncing back against the Scarlet Knights. USF limited Rutgers to a 32-28 edge on the glass with Martino Brock, Anthony Collins and Poland combining to post at least five boards apiece.
"Unfortunately we lost, but we continued to make improvements in a lot of areas and we have to continue to build on that," Heath said.
USF now turns its attention to the Hoyas, who are 12-3 (2-2) and have won their past two games. Forward Otto Porter Jr. led three Hoyas in doubles figures with 20 points in Georgetown's 74-65 victory over Providence on Wednesday night. Porter also leads three Hoyas in double figures with 13.8 points per game this season.
Junior forward Victor Rudd continues to have a productive season for the Bulls after finishing in double figures for the fifth straight time Thursday night. The Los Angeles native posted 11 points against Rutgers and has been in double figures in nine of his past 10 games.
Rudd leads USF with 11.4 points per game this season heading into team's quick stop home on Saturday. The Bulls play at Seton Hall 7 p.m. Wednesday in a contest that will be televised on ESPNU.
A Trio of Career Highs for Hawkins
Freshman guard JaVontae Hawkins set career highs in points (10), rebounds (5) and minutes (28) in his second straight start on Thursday.
Bulls Becoming a Hot Ticket
USF has seen its crowd continue to grow at home with an average of 5,163 fans visiting the renovated Sun Dome this season. The Bulls played in front of their largest home crowd since 2001 when 10,024 fans watched them take on Syracuse on Jan. 6.