BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Behind 19 points by junior guard Corey Allen Jr., the University of South Florida men’s basketball team improved to 3-0 on the season by winning its first road game, 75-61 over Bowling Green at the Stroh Center on Friday.
“It was a good win on the road,” said USF head coach Stan Heath, who recorded his 200th career win. “Road wins are hard to come by. I was really proud of our team who stepped up in different ways.”
Allen Jr. finished 7-of-11 from the field including 2-of-3 from three-point range and added seven rebounds and three assists.
“Corey Allen throughout the game was a guy just bringing it. He was generating that pace,” Heath said.
Freshman center John Egbunu had his best game as a Bull with 12 points, eight rebounds and four blocks in 30 minutes of play. Senior forward Victor Rudd scored 13 of his 16 points in the second have and was 4-of-6 from the field.
“John Egbunu had a coming out party,” Heath said. “He was strong inside, rebounding, blocking shots and blocking up the paint. I thought our defense fueled our offense which helped us shoot a high percentage.”
The Bulls put together two solid halves of shooting with a 54.5 percent mark in the first half and 62.5 percent in the second half for a game total of 58.7 percent.
With the game tied 27-27 with 2:33 remaining in the first half, the Bulls started to play with a sense of urgency, stemmed from the play of Egbunu. The freshman center scored five points, had two offensive rebounds and one blocked shot the remainder of the half as the Bulls outscored the Falcons 8-1 to take a 35-28 lead into halftime.
BGSU (1-1) got to within five points twice in the second half, the latest coming at 45-40 with just over 13 minutes remaining. However, Rudd scored the next four points while Anthony Collins, who played in his first game of the season, scored the next five for USF to push the lead back to 10. USF ended the game with its largest margin of 14.
“I thought he was going to play 10 minutes and he got 26,” said Heath of his Preseason All-American Athletic Conference point guard. “He did a great job.”
The Bulls totaled seven blocked shots, contributing to the Falcon’s 35.9 percent shooting from the field.
BGSU was led by Jehvon Clarke with 17 points, four rebounds and four assists.
The Bulls will have a week before hosting Stetson at 7 p.m. next Friday.