Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

3-point shooting dooms USF against Cincinnati

CINCINNATI — All season, 3-point shots have been USF's weakness.

Sunday afternoon was no different.

Against the Bearcats, USF made just 1 of 6 3-pointers before halftime and didn't attempt another for the first 15 minutes of the second half.

But down just 42-41 with five minutes to play, USF reverted back to shooting — and missing — 3s. The Bulls shot 1-of-7 down the stretch, with five of those missed shots 3-pointers, as Cincinnati pulled ahead to seal the 50-45 win.

"We went brain-dead," USF coach Stan Heath said. "We took the 3s and we probably shouldn't have. A couple of those, the clock was winding down, and so we just got stuck with that shot. It's something we haven't been very good at that this year (26.2 percent entering Sunday's game) and we know it."

During a quick, low-scoring first half, the teams shot a combined 33 percent from the field. Both teams struggled to make open shots and missed easy layups as Cincinnati (21-2, 10-0 American) went into halftime with a 24-18 lead.

The Bulls (11-11, 2-7) found their touch in the paint after halftime, making seven of their first 10 shots to take a 27-26 lead. The teams continued to trade leads for much of the half until the Bearcats zone forced USF to shoot from beyond the arc.

The Bulls' 18-point first half and 45 total points were both season lows. Likewise, Cincinnati's 50 points were the fewest USF has allowed all season, 21 points below the Bearcats' average.

"They're a great defensive team and we have a stamp of being a good defensive team, so we brought that to this game and it obviously showed in the first half," Bulls forward Victor Rudd said. "It was a fight the whole game and I enjoyed playing in it."

Chris Perry led USF with 13 points and Rudd added 11. Cincinnati guard Sean Kilpatrick led all scorers with 18 points.

The Bulls have lost seven of their past nine games, with five of those against ranked teams.

But even with the slump, the close loss gave the Bulls some needed confidence.

"I knew we could beat this team," Perry said. "I know that, definitely. We all played good as a team. We just kind of messed up at the very end."

3-point shooting dooms USF against Cincinnati 02/02/14 [Last modified: Monday, February 3, 2014 12:53am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Sunday Morning Quarterback, Week 9


    Tampa Bay Tech Titans Michael Penix Jr. (9) throws a pass during the first half during the first half at Durant High School in Plant City on Friday, October 20, 2017.
  2. Road to Atlanta: Tell us how you really feel, Jimbo


    Topped out

    TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 21:  Rashaan Evans #32 of the Alabama Crimson Tide tackles Jarrett Guarantano #2 of the Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) 775042495
  3. Journal: USF gets support on the road


    NEW ORLEANS — Perhaps it was the chance to witness the first USF-Tulane game ever, or an opportunity to frolic in the French Quarter for a weekend. Or both.

    USF running back D'Ernest Johnson (2) stiff-arms Tulane cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) on a run during the second half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH111
  4. Joey Knight's takeaways from USF-Tulane


    1. Saturday's triumph will do little to fortify USF's strength of schedule, but its strength-of-character quotient might have increased. On the road facing an eclectic offense, the Bulls built a huge lead, then made critical plays in the waning moments after some defensive lapses. In short, they survived. Isn't …

    South Florida defensive end Greg Reaves (41) reacts after a defensive stop against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH107
  5. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start


    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103