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)

Basketball: USF Bulls lose to Western Michigan

TAMPA — Stan Heath makes rebounding a priority, so it's all the more frustrating to see the way his undersized teams have struggled on the boards in a disappointing 2-2 start.

On Sunday, the Bulls were outrebounded 39-26 by Western Michigan — somehow getting just two offensive rebounds off 29 missed field goals — and hit just 23 percent of their shots in the second half, taking a 58-53 loss in the Sun Dome to finish the USF Invitational.

"I don't like getting outrebounded," Heath said. "If there's one thing that's a staple of how I feel you need to play, it's that rebounding needs to be a strength. We need to outrebound the other team. When that happens to us, I know that's a problem."

Point guard Anthony Collins set a career high with 12 assists (USF had only 17 field goals), and the Bulls got their scoring from seniors Toarlyn Fitzpatrick (14 points) and Shaun Noriega (16), but each went just 4-of-11 from the field. Shots didn't fall down the stretch as USF missed all four attempts in the final minute.

"In the second half, we just could not find the basket," Heath said. "We had good looks, we had open 3s, layups around the rim and they didn't go down. We need to finish those plays. … We have to become a better team at finishing. We were very good in the past of the last 2-3 minutes when it's a one-point game."

USF lost two home games last season but has matched that in the first nine days this season, unable to find the same home magic in the renovated Sun Dome. Sunday's win improved Western Michigan to 4-1 and gave veteran coach Steve Hawkins his 300th career victory.

"When I started, I was skinny and had hair. That's what this thing will do to you," Hawkins said.

USF led 35-27 late in the first half, but Western Michigan ended the half on a 7-1 run, then opened the second on a 7-2 spurt for a 43-38 lead. The Bulls did lead after that — Noriega scored six in a row to go up 46-45 — but USF had just five points in the final eight minutes.

Basketball: USF Bulls lose to Western Michigan 11/18/12 [Last modified: Sunday, November 18, 2012 9:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning 2017-18 schedule: Stanley Cup champion Penguins, expansion Golden Knights among the coming attractions

    Lightning Strikes

    The Lightning's season schedule was released Thursday afternoon, and there are plenty of must-see matchups coming to Amalie Arena. Here are the home games with the most intriguing storylines:

    The champs

    (Oct. 12, Oct. 21)

    The two-time defending champion Penguins make two early trips to Tampa. [AP photo]
  2. Tampa Bay Lightning 2017-18 schedule

    Lightning Strikes

    The Lightning's Brayden Point celebrates a goal during a game against the Ottawa Senators in February in Tampa. [AP photo]
  3. What Wilson Ramos will mean to the Rays lineup, pitching

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chris Archer was stumping for all-star votes for Corey Dickerson during a live interview Wednesday morning on the MLB Network when he lifted the right earpiece on his headset and said, "I hear a buffalo coming."

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Wilson Ramos (40) waves to the crowd after being presented with the Silver Slugger Award before the start of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
  4. Jameis Winston as 2017 NFL MVP? 66-to-1 odds from Vegas


    Could Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston be an NFL MVP in 2017? It's certainly unlikely, but the sports book at Bovada has opening lines with Winston getting 66-to-1 odds, worse than 22 other players across the league.

    Bucs fans would be very happy if quarterback Jameis WInston can put himself into consideration for the NFL MVP award during the 2017 season.
  5. Deon Cain, Duke Dawson, Derrick Nnadi among SI's top 100 players


    Sports Illustrated's countdown of the top 100 players in college football continues with three more local players.

  6. OCTOBER_cokwr_cpzh4_cre1l_chk2m