Eighteen turnovers by the USF Bulls lead to 20 points for Mississippi State, and despite 17 points and 11 rebounds by Victor Rudd Jr., USF fell 71-66 to the Bulldogs on Sunday night at The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
USF was 24-52 from the floor, including 6-15 from three-point range, but failed to keep the Bulldogs in check particularly around the rim. The Bulls missed their junior point guard and leader Anthony Collins, who was a late scratch with his continuing left knee issue, and was termed by Stan Heath to be "doubtful" for tomorrow against the loser of Santa Clara-UNLV.
Chris Perry had another solid effort with 14 points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes that were limited by foul trouble. Perry picked up two of those fouls while MSU's Colin Borchert was shooting 3's, committing the cardinal sin of basketball defense. “It was a mental error, me being tired, not thinking," the freshman said. Corey Allen Jr. was also disqualified, picking up his fifth on a reach-in where it looked like he didn't make contact with the ball handler. "I didn't touch him, and the ref told me he was anticipating calling a foul there," Allen said after the game. With the Bulls down only three with just under a minute to go, there's not really a reason to foul there or anticipate a call.
USF struggled to get in any kind of flow offensively for long stretches, with Shemiye McLendon and Javonte Hawkins both playing unusually high amounts of minutes with 19 and 24 respectively. Gavin Ware was the star for the Bulldogs, picking up 10 points and 15 rebounds in a contest where winning the glass was crucial for both teams.
Our post game interviews with Vic Rudd and Chris Perry as well as Stan Heath are here (sorry for the shooting the video vertically instead of horozontially). Notice the cup of ice water Vic Rudd has for his left finger. It looked pretty swollen after he jammed it in the first half and had to come out for treatment.
We'll be back tomorrow for more from Vegas.