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 - South Florida had four scorers in double figures as they defeated the Villanova Wildcats 65-51 at the Campus Recreation Center Wednesday night.
"We've fought through a lot of adversity this year, playing in all kinds of venues, so for the guys to get to play in a real gym, it's a treat," said USF coach Stan Heath.
Hugh Robertson and Victor Rudd led the Bulls with 14 points each.
"When coach told us where we'd get to play this game," said Robertson. "I said 'We get to play in a real gym? On a real court?' We were all psyched for pre-game warm-ups, never mind the actual game."
The game stayed close with the game tied at halftime. Nova then faded away in the second half, getting outscored by the Bulls 45-30. However, the second half of the game was actually the third half of basketball Villanova had played.
"We got to the rec center a bit early, and saw a team in the gym wearing white and green USF uniforms warming up, so we went through the normal pre-game routine," said Villanova coach Jay Wright. "The refs were there too. Turns out we were playing in an intramural game."
"Man, we were killing those guys," said Villanova guard Darrun Hilliard. "Then we looked at the halftime score sheet, and saw we were playing some team called Edible UnderArmour."
"I couldn't believe how good those guys were," said USF junior Blanthony Durant, who plays for Edible UnderArmour. "I mean, I'm six-feet tall, playing center, and I must have had my shot blocked eight or nine times."
Nova went on to shoot only 30% in the actual game. Guard JayVaughn Pinkston hit only one of his 13 shots in the actual game.
"Guess I used up all my good shots in the intramural," said Pinkston. "We were gassed by halftime."
A worse fate befell Nova leading scorer Maalik Wayns, who re-injured his knee during the intramural. Wayns was a late scratch for the game.
USF again used a short bench, with seven players playing between 23 and 34 minutes each. Guards Blake Nash, Mike McCloskey, and Shaun Noriega, and forward Alberto Damour all played four minutes or less.
"Coach told us before the game that we weren't going to get much (playing time)," said McCloskey. "He said we had plenty of options to stay warm and fresh.
"I went to the track upstairs, and got some jogging in. I even got to check out the game!"
"Me and Blake (Nash) took in a yoga class," said Noriega. "Not only were we able to stay limber in case we had to go into the game, those classes are mostly chicks so we got thing going on that front, too."
Damour worked out on an elliptical machine, and would have gotten more playing time had he not been listening to his iPod.
"Apparently they sent a message over the intercom from coach telling me to get into the game, but I was so into the new Selena Gomez album I missed the call," said Damour.