WHO: Alabama (4-3) at USF (5-2)
WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Sun Dome
TV: ESPNU (Rich Hollenberg, Carolyn Peck)
RADIO: 1010 a.m. (Jim Lighthall, Todd Kalas)
LIVE STATS: GoUSFBulls.com
LIVE TWITTER UPDATES: @USFMBB
TAMPA – After a thrilling come-from-behind victory at George Mason, the University of South Florida men’s basketball team will host Alabama on Saturday at 9 p.m.
The Bulls (5-2) rallied from a 17-point second-half deficit on Wednesday to win by two, 68-66. They were led by Corey Allen Jr. and his 19-point performance against the Patriots. The junior guard’s 14.0 point per game average is second on the team to senior Victor Rudd (14.3).
Like USF, the Crimson Tide (4-3) recently broke a two-game losing streak. The SEC member defeated North Florida 76-48 on Wednesday and are led in scoring by senior guard Trevor Releford.
It will be the first meeting between the two schools since Dec. 9, 1971 when Alabama won the only meeting in the series 123-97. USF sophomore Tommy Davis attempted a school-record 35 field goal to score 31 points in that game in Tuscaloosa. USF’s 122 field goal attempts was the most in school history.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast on ESPNU and can be heard in Tampa on 1010 a.m. with Jim Lighthall and Todd Kalas calling the action.
NEED TO KNOW
Senior Martino Brock played two years in the state of Alabama with South Alabama.
Victor Rudd leads the American Conference in free throw percentage at 91.7 percent (33-of-36).
Corey Allen’s game-winning 10-footer at George Mason was No. 6 on SportsCenter’s Top 10.
42 percent of USF’s scoring has come from three newcomers: Corey Allen Jr., John Egbunu and Chris Perry.
USF is 2-0 on the road for the first time since 2006-07.
USF has used five different starting lineups this season
USF started the season 4-0 for the first time since 2006-07 and the eighth time in its 43 seasons of men’s basketball.
Preseason all-conference guard Anthony Collins played for the first time this season against BGSU and started for the first time this season against Stetson after missing the first two games of the season with swelling in his left knee.
Anthony Collins, Martino Brock and Victor Rudd are the three starters returning for USF
USF’s freshman class was ranked 12th nationally by HoopScoop.com and 21st by ESPN Recruiting News, Stan Heath’s best recruiting class at USF.
Victor Rudd and Anthony Collins were named to The American Preseason All-Conference Second Team.
USF’s non-conference schedule was rated the third toughest by ESPN.com among American Athletic Conference members.
The Bulls moved to 2-0 on the road for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
Chris Perry recorded USF’s first double-double of the season with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting and 11 rebounds.
John Egbunu recorded one block and has had at least one in every game
INSIDE THE COMEBACK
USF trailed by 17 points, 53-36 with 12:19 remaining, its largest deficit of the game and led by five points, 59-54 with 4:57 to play.
18 unanswered points scored by USF from 11:21 to 6:16
23-1 run by USF from 11:21 to 4:33
Amidst the run was a technical foul committed by George Mason’s Anali Okoloji with 8:55 to play and the Patriots leading 53-41. Anthony Collins made four consecutive free throws and then threw and alley-oop dunk to Javontae Hawkins for six points in a span of seven seconds. » The score was then 53-47 with 8:48 to play.
George Mason FG drought: 12:19 – 4:33 (7:46)
USF ended the game outscoring George Mason 30-13 in the final 12:19
It took USF 21:47 to score its first 30 points and 12:17 to score its final 30 points.
In the final 13 minutes:
USF: Shot 60 percent from the field (9-15), 18 rebounds, 78.9 percent from the free throw line (15-19)
GMU: Shot 27.8 percent from the field (5-18), 8 rebounds, 37.5 percent from the free throw line (3-8)
Corey Allen Jr. scored 10 points, 4-of-4 from the field and 2-of-2 from the free throw line, three rebounds, two steals
Chris Perry had eight points, 2-of-2 from the field and 4-of-6 from the free throw line, six rebounds and two blocks
Anthony Collins had six points, 6-of-6 from the free throw line and three assists
Javontae Hawkins had five points, 2-of-2 from the field, three rebounds and one steal
USF attempted one three-pointer (0-1, Collins)
As of Monday, USF ranked tied for second in The American Conference and tied for 19th nationally with 6.7 blocked shots per game. That number is nearly twice as high as last season’s average of 3.4.
Scoring is up
When USF defeated Bethune-Cookman 91-65 on Nov. 15, it was the first time the Bulls scored at least 90 points since a 99-93 win over Providence on Feb. 27, 2010.
USF’s overall scoring average is up compared to last season. In 2012-13 the Bulls averaged 58.8 points per game and this year that mark is at 72.1.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“Going into the game, it was a test to see if we were going to lay down or if we were going to step up because we had just lost two in a row. It really showed us as a team how we can be if we play together both offensively and defensively.”
- Junior guard Corey Allen Jr. after a 68-66 win at George Mason
COLLINS TO EGBUNU
Of John Egbunu’s eight dunks this season, six of them have been an alley-oop pass from point guard Anthony Collins.