TAMPA - The Bulls finished off their home slate in fantastic fashion
Wednesday night at the Sun Dome.
Martino Brock scored a team-high 18 points and Anthony
Collins tied a career high with 12 assists in USF's 65-51 victory over UConn.
Victor Rudd posted 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Zach LeDay finished with 11
points as the Bulls (12-17, 3-14) won for the second straight time.
"We're continuing to get better and we're building momentum
down the stretch," USF head coach Stan Heath said.
The Bulls got off to a fast start as Toarlyn Fitzpatrick
opened the game with a 3-pointer and Collins added four points to help USF jump
out on a 9-2 run. USF hit four of its first nine attempts from long range and LeDay's
3-pointer put the Bulls ahead, 25-19, with 6:45 to go in the half.
USF headed into halftime with a 28-26 lead after UConn's
Omar Calhoun missed a wide-open dunk with 23 seconds to go before the break.
The Bulls committed only two turnovers in the opening period while Collins
already was up to five assists.
UConn started the second half on a 6-0 run but the Bulls
answered back with a 7-0 run that featured a go-ahead 3-pointer from
Fitzpatrick. Brock's steal and layup put USF ahead, 43-36, and another fastbreak
layup by the junior gave the Bulls a commanding 53-38 lead with less than nine
minutes to play.
Two straight highlight reel dunks by Rudd gave USF a
17-point lead with less than five minutes to go and the Bulls cruised to their
second victory in 12 games against the Huskies (19-10, 9-8).
"It was a boxing match back and forth, and both teams were
throwing punches," Heath said. "We got on a run, kept our foot where it needed
to be and finished the way we wanted to."
The Huskies were without leading scorer Shabazz Napier, who
missed his second straight game with a foot injury. Napier is averaging 17.1
points per game and put up 24 points in UConn's 69-64 overtime win over the
Bulls on Feb. 3 in Storrs, Conn.
"One thing I didn't want our team to do is let their guard
down," Heath said. "I knew we were still facing a good team without Shabazz
that was capable of winning if we didn't play well."
The Bulls look to build more momentum in their regular
season finale 4 p.m. Saturday at Cincinnati.
"We just want to go up to Cincinnati to get another big one because
you never know what can happen in the Big East tournament," Collins said.