TAMPA — The story going into Wednesday night's USF game against Georgia Southern was how the Bulls would have to play without top returning scorer Augustus Gilchrist, who is nursing a shoulder injury from Sunday's loss to Penn State.
Coming out, however, the buzz was about how USF's three point guards kept a high level of energy with starter Lavonte Dority scoring eight points and backups Blake Nash and Anthony Collins combining for 10 assists, 13 points and five steals in the Bulls' easy 66-46 win at the St. Pete Times Forum.
"Our point guard play has been improving tremendously," said senior center Ron Anderson, who led the Bulls with 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting. "I think game by game, our point guards are starting to get a lot more comfortable with the feel of the game and the tempo. We had a fresh point guard in at all times, and I think it helped them out a lot."
After the Bulls (4-2) built a 21-7 lead early, Nash and Collins played in the same backcourt at times with Nash sliding over to shooting guard, giving the Bulls a small but quick look that coach Stan Heath wants to see more.
"It was good to see how the two little guys played together, AC and Blake," Heath said; "like a whole bunch of mosquitoes just causing a lot of havoc out there."
With solid passes inside, the Bulls went 10-for-10 on 2-point attempts in the first half, keeping the Eagles (1-3) at a distance. In Gilchrist's absence, Anderson came a point shy of a career high in scoring but shot 3-for-11 on free throws. Heath said he'll take his share at the line in the next few days.
"Guess where he's going to be living over the next couple of weeks," Heath said. "We have a beautiful building with a bunch of baskets. He's going to live on that free-throw line. We're going to get that fixed."
The actual attendance at the Times Forum looked to be less than half the announced attendance of 2,361. The Bulls will next play at the University of Tampa's Martinez Center on Saturday against Florida Atlantic.
Heath said he'll be cautious in bringing Gilchrist back from the shoulder injury.