Friday, December 15, 2017
Sports

Obscure rule helps USF nip FGCU 68-66 in 2OT

TAMPA — Three-tenths of a second literally added a year to Stan Heath's life Tuesday.

On the night he turned 49, Heath had to unwrap tension and disentangle an obscure buzzer-beater rule to get to the one gift he coveted: a third consecutive triumph.

It arrived after 50 excruciating minutes and one improbable last-gasp play.

Chase Fieler's catch-and-shoot basket at the buzzer — off an NFL-type throw by Jamail Jones from the opposite baseline — was waved off by officials, preserving USF's 68-66 double-overtime win against Florida Gulf Coast.

"I'll take it," Heath said.

For those Bulls fans graying at home, that's three triumphs in a row by two points. But Tuesday's escape, before a Sun Dome audience of 4,105, took Heath's cake.

FGCU (5-5) called a timeout with three-tenths of a second to play after Anthony Collins missed the second of two free throws.

On the ensuing inbounds, Jones — guarded by Bulls 7-foot-3 sophomore Jordan Omogbehin — found Fieler, who caught the pass at the left baseline and threw up a short jumper that bounced a couple of times before falling.

"Probably some offensive coordinators would like to sign (Jones) right now," FGCU coach Joe Dooley said.

Officials immediately went to the monitor, but Heath gravitated toward the Eagles bench to begin handshakes.

During the timeout, he said officials reminded him of a college rule saying that any basket made with three-tenths of a second or less to play can be only via tip-in. Still photos showed the ball exiting Fieler's hands before the red game-clock light illuminated atop the backboard.

"I got a little worried why they were going to the monitor. I think they were just trying to confirm he caught it and shot it," Heath said.

"They were very clear to me before the play even happened that he had to tip it. There was no chance he could catch and shoot that ball. If it's (four-tenths), we're in trouble."

Trouble was a steady companion Tuesday for the Bulls, playing their first game in 10 days. Subtract senior Victor Rudd's double double (23 points, 14 rebounds), and USF shot 19-for-50 from the floor.

Worse, the Bulls (7-2) went 7-for-20 from the free-throw line, missing 5 of 9 in the last minute. Defensively, they allowed FGCU guard Bernard Thompson — sore ankle and all — to flourish from the perimeter (32 points), and they botched a double screen on the last play.

But as far as this present was concerned, it was the thought that counted for Heath.

"I thought we played hard, I thought we played with great effort out there, but we've got to put the ball in the basket, whether it's free-throw shooting or shooting," he said. "We can't just keep going through games and relying on defense."

 
Comments
Rick and Tom podcast: Is Dirk Koetter fighting for his job?

Rick and Tom podcast: Is Dirk Koetter fighting for his job?

In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss whether Dirk Koetter is fighting for his job the final three weeks of season. Is there a rift between him and Jameis Winston? Has Winston shown enough progress this year? And who are the Glaz...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

The Lightning's 4-1 victory over the Coyotes Thursday night still featured the usual post-game music in the dressing room.But there was more of a somber tone with veteran right wing Ryan Callahan's right arm in a sling. Callahan, who got hurt on a na...
Updated: 4 hours ago
USF football journal: Add an audible to the Quinton Flowers legend

USF football journal: Add an audible to the Quinton Flowers legend

Bulls fans who believe QB Quinton Flowers wasn't afforded enough latitude in the 2017 offense got some figurative fuel for their argument Thursday.Or more specifically, kerosene in the form of a conversion. That game-tying two-point play in the wanin...
Updated: 6 hours ago
USF football journal: Add an audible to the Quinton Flowers legend

USF football journal: Add an audible to the Quinton Flowers legend

Bulls fans who believe QB Quinton Flowers wasn't afforded enough latitude in the 2017 offense got some figurative fuel for their argument Thursday.Or more specifically, kerosene in the form of a conversion. That game-tying two-point play in the wanin...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

GLENDALE, Ariz. — As much as the Lightning has been rolling, it remembered how it lost twice last season to the Coyotes.That included blowing a one-goal third-period lead at home down the stretch, with Tampa Bay missing the playoffs by a point."You l...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Coyotes center Clayton Keller is very familiar with fellow rookie Mikhail Sergachev, the dynamic Lightning defenseman. They both were top 10 picks in 2016, Keller at No. 7 and Sergachev No. 9 to Montreal. They faced each other in th...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Cavs ride LeBron’s triple double vs. Lakers

Cavs ride LeBron’s triple double vs. Lakers

CLEVELAND — LeBron James recorded his 59th career triple double in front of Lonzo Ball and his brothers, Kevin Love scored 28 and the Cavaliers won for the 16th time in 17 games, 121-112 over the Lakers on Thursday. James finished with 25 points, 12 ...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Friday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBoxingSuper lightweights: Vargas vs. Herrera10 p.m.FS1College basketballWomen: Southern at USF7 p.m.1040-AMMaryland-Eastern Shore at Creighton8 p.m.FS1College footballDivision III, final: Mount Union (Ohio) vs. Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas)7 p.m.ES...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Caps continue to dominate Bruins

BOSTON — Alex Chiasson scored two third-period goals, the second on a shorthanded breakaway with 8:29 left, and the Capitals beat the Bruins 5-3 on Thursday night. Patrice Bergeron scored twice for Boston, moving past Bobby Orr on the team’s all-time...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Stephan Jiggetts’ 20 points lead USF basketball over Bethune-Cookman

Stephan Jiggetts’ 20 points lead USF basketball over Bethune-Cookman

TAMPA — USF used a 21-3 run midway through the second half en route to an 83-63 win over Bethune-Cookman on Thursday night before an announced 2,091 at the Sun Dome.The victory halted a four-game losing streak for the Bulls (5-6), who scored the last...
Updated: 11 hours ago