With the USF Sun Dome undergoing renovation, our intrepid basketball reporter will follow the South Florida basketball team around the USF campus this season, as the team plays its games in different buildings across the campus. Check back after each home game for updates.
Tampa - An energized USF Bulls team used a second half comeback to defeat #24 Seton Hall 56-55 Friday night at the reflecting pool at MLK Plaza.
"We really wanted to honor Martin Luther King this weekend, so what more fitting way to do that than to hold a game at MLK Plaza," said USF athletic director Doug Woolard.
"It's really great playing here and honoring a founding father," said USF forward Victor Rudd.
Seton Hall led by as many as 10 points in the second half, but the more lively Bulls ate away the lead as the Pirates tired down the stretch with 1-6 shooting over the last 6:12.
"I took my guys to Fort DeSoto Beach on Thursday so they could practice walking in shallow water," said USF coach Stan Heath. "You could see it paid off in the second half."
When asked in the post-game press conference if the Pirates used similar training methods, Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard was bemused.
"Have you been to a beach in New Jersey in January? Fahgetaboutit," said Willard. "Even on a good day, the last thing I want to do is take these kids to the Jersey Shore.
"We thought about practicing in kiddie pools but we couldn't find any that could fit more than three basketball players."
Guard Anthony Collins led the Bulls with six assists and 36 minutes played.
"I attribute my conditioning to the intramural water polo I played last year," said Collins. "Since we couldn't dribble, I skipped some passes on the water into the post; their guys hadn't seen anything like it."
Although forward Augustus Gilchrist had a tough game shooting (3-11, including an ill-advised three-pointer), and turned the ball over three times, his seven rebounds were key.
"It was like they were standing in a bucket of water," said Gilchrist.