Balanced Bulls edge Eckerd 74-65 in exhibition
It wasn't anything dominant, but USF's men's basketball team pulled out a 74-65 exhibition win against Division II Eckerd College in the Sun Dome on Monday night, with junior Victor Rudd scoring 14 points to lead four Bulls in double figures.
USF has plenty of areas to improve on for Saturday's opener against Central Florida -- the Bulls went 3-for-19 on 3-pointers, were outrebounded 42-34 and struggled at the free-throw line, hitting just 57 percent.
"We better shore up that rebounding. We thought we were just going to out-athlete people and just jump and grab them," coach Stan Heath said. "That's not going to work, especially with our lack of size. We've got to shore up the free-throw shooting. ... I do think we're a much better 3-point shooting team. I know it was absymal today, but that will get better."
Point guard Anthony Collins, limited by a calf injury, played just 22 minutes, getting eight points with four assists offset by three turnovers. Junior Martino Brock was sharp filling in, getting nine assists against zero turnovers, his game spoiled by a 2-for-9 showing at the line. Rudd's 14 points led the way, but USF also got 13 from Toarlyn Fitzpatrick and freshman guard JaVontae Hawkins, who had a personal 8-0 run late in the first half to put the Bulls in control.
"We've got to get a lot better if we're going to compete in the Big East," said Fitzpatrick said.