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Monday, Jul 28, 2014
USF Bulls

Bulls fall to Houston, stil winless in AAC


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TAMPA — The University of South Florida’s midseason slump continued Saturday afternoon with a 67-58 loss to Houston, its fourth loss in five games.

The Bulls (9-6, 0-2 AAC) entered the game having shot 26 percent from 3-point range this season and Houston sat in a soft zone, content to keep the ball out of the paint and dare the Bulls to shoot.

Results were decidedly poor for the Bulls — 0-for-10 from outside the arc in the first half — as the Cougars (10-5, 2-0) eased their way to a road win.

USF’s leading big men, John Egbunu and Chris Perry, combined for 19 points, but they were frustrated by lack of opportunities against the zone defense.

“We just need 3-point shooters so teams won’t zone us,” Perry said. “It would open up the post and keep people honest. … It’s real frustrating, but it’s nothing I can really control. It’s frustrating, but I guess it’s part of life.”

USF coach Stan Heath perused the postgame stat sheet looking for positives to carry forward to Thursday’s trip to Temple, but came up mostly empty.

“This isn’t the position we want our basketball team to be in,” he said. “There’s areas we’ve just got to improve. In this game, the inefficiencies of our offense really hurt us. You look at the free-throw shooting (13-for-25) and we’re at 52 percent. You just can’t do that at this level. … The second thing is the 3-point shooting.”

Without regular point guard Anthony Collins, sidelined by a knee injury, the Bulls turned the ball over 16 times.

“There’s lots of things we’ve got to fix,” Heath said.

HOUSTON (10-5) — McLean 0-2 0-0 0, Thomas 6-10 1-3 13, Morris 3-9 0-0 9, Barnes 1-4 2-2 4, Womack 5-6 1-2 12, Knowles 3-10 6-8 12, Simmons 2-4 2-2 6, Stiggers 3-10 3-7 11. Totals 23-55 15-24 67.

SOUTH FLORIDA (9-6) — Rudd 3-10 2-7 9, Perry 4-9 2-4 10, Egbunu 1-4 7-10 9, Allen Jr. 1-9 0-0 3, McLendon 0-1 0-0 0, Brock 5-8 1-3 11, Abdul-Aleem 3-8 0-0 8, LeDay 3-4 1-1 8, Hawkins 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-54 13-25 58.

Halftime—Houston 34-26. 3-Point Goals—Houston 6-14 (Morris 3-6, Stiggers 2-5, Womack 1-1, Thomas 0-1, Simmons 0-1), South Florida 5-21 (Abdul-Aleem 2-7, LeDay 1-2, Allen Jr. 1-5, Rudd 1-6, Hawkins 0-1). Fouled Out—McLean. Rebounds—Houston 37 (Barnes 9), South Florida 41 (Allen Jr., Egbunu 9). Assists—Houston 14 (Simmons, Thomas 5), South Florida 14 (Allen Jr. 6). Total Fouls—Houston 19, South Florida 22. A—3,921.

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