Jeff Griffith-US PRESSWIRE
Shorthanded and not using the size advantage they had all night, USF nevertheless pulls out a win over the Hatters to move to 4-2.
So Collin and I wrote posts at the same time, and Matt was working on one too when we published ours. So while we get our editorial act together, please enjoy our collective wisdom.
Bulls almost duff'd it,
but survive without AC.
No Red Line Upset.
Boy, USF really made this tough on themselves. Stan Heath chose to rest Anthony Collins's sore calf to get him in better shape to play Georgia on Friday night and Oklahoma State next week. Without him, the Bulls' offense was ragged and settled for too many passive, outside shots. Even though Adam Pegg's suspension took away Stetson's only legitimate post presence, USF still put up 20 three-pointers and missed 15. On the plus side, the Bulls only had eight turnovers, which is a pretty good number for not having their starting point guard and best player.
USF rebounded well, with a 41-31 edge, and did a fantastic job controlling the tempo and keeping the Hatters from running and taking early shots. Stetson has a lot of off-ball motion in their offense and they worked the perimeter relentlessly, but USF stayed with them and made the Hatters put up a lot of contested shots. Stetson shot just 38% and only went 7-for-25 from three.
Still, the game was tied at 47 with five minutes to go after an 8-0 run by the Hatters. Stetson had two chances to take the lead, but Aaron Graham missed shots on consecutive trips down the floor, and finally Martino Brock (starting for Collins) made a layup to give the Bulls the lead for good.
Jawanza Poland and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick carried the load for USF. Poland put up a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Fitzpatrick almost had one of his own with 20 points and nine boards. Martino Brock also hit double figures with 10 points. And in the funniest stat of the season so far, Jordan Omegbehin had a steal(!) to go with his two points and one rebound in limited action.
The Bulls meet the Georgia Bulldogs on Friday night at the USF Sun Dome as part of the SEC-Big East Challenge. Tipoff is at 7:00pm, and if you have to choose one USF sporting event to go to this weekend, pick this one.
Survive and advance
Get through all these injuries
Only Big East counts
We'll take it, but also be glad Stetson's leading scorer and rebounder Adam Pegg didn't play. His usual 18 and 6 might have been enough to tip the outcome. Of course so would have Anthony Collins playing a far-below-his-average game too, as his lingering calf injury kept him out of the game tonight.
20 points on 8-14 for Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, some nice minutes and 19 points from JAWANZAA off the bench again, and Mike McCloskey showed he's not much of a serviceable option even as a backup. Musa Abdul-Aleem coming back should start to help with the depth and health issues.
Georgia on Friday night, let's all be healthier (and get reboundier) by then, hmm kay??