(NOTE FROM JAMIE: This is infield infidel's first post as an official author for Voodoo Five. One of us! One of us! One of us!)
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 - USF used spirited defense to thwart the St. John's Red Storm 64-49 Wednesday night at the University Chapel Fellowship Center on 50th Street.
"(Athletic Director) Doug Woolard felt that, with St. John's being a religious university, they would appreciate a religious setting for the game," said USF coach Stan Heath.
"Unfortunately, the Catholic Center was booked for Wednesday Mass," said Woolard.
"With us being a Catholic school, and this being more of an evangelical venue," said St. John's interim coach Mike Dunlap, "can you say, awkward?"
Guard Victor Rudd scored a 24 points, his second-highest total of the season after pouring in 30 against Marist. After missing all five of his shots in the first half, Rudd scored all 24 points in the second half, on 8-for-10 shooting.
"I'd like to thank God for showing me the way in the second half," said Rudd. "I guess I wasn't praying enough in the first half."
"Every shot you put up in the first half was a prayer," said guard Jawanza Poland.
The Big East officiating staff was unavailable for the game due to a flight delay. Therefore, clergy from local houses of faith officiated the game.
Part of USF's strategy was to play physical defense against the Red Storm offense. The Bulls were in foul trouble throughout the game, but not as much trouble as one would expect.
"Every time I got called for a foul, the ref would yell, 'Do you repent?' said forward Augustus Gilchrist. "If I said yes, they didn't give me a personal foul."
Gilchrist was called for 13 fouls in the game, but was only assessed five personal fouls. Those five fouls still caused him to foul out.
"Those five fouls were really ticky-tack fouls, so I wasn't repenting those," said Gilchrist. "Still, it was fun hacking away at Red Storm players through the whole game and not fouling out till the end."
Guard Anthony Collins was called for 10 fouls, but also stayed in the game, only registering four personal fouls on the box score.
The Red Storm had three players in double digits, including 11 points for forward God'sgift Achiuwa.
"With a blasphemous name like that, of course they lost," said minister/referee Owen Masterson.
"They have eight wins and 10 losses, so I guess he's not God's gift to winning basketball games," said Heath.
Notes: In the locker room prior to the game, the Bulls played the album † (Cross), by French electro duo Justice, to get ready for the game
"If that album doesn't get you hyped, I don't know what does," said Gilchrist.
-- Halftime entertainment was provided by the USF Interfaith Choir. The pre-game press packet said the original choice of song was the USF alma mater, but the song had to be changed since no one could remember the lyrics. Instead, they sang The Reformation Polka.