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)

Rutgers Scarlet Knights beat South Florida Bulls 71-62

USF’s Ron Anderson grabs the ball in a crowd that includes teammate Jarrid Famous during the first half. Coach Stan Heath says a lack of senior leadership hurt the Bulls.

Associated Press

USF’s Ron Anderson grabs the ball in a crowd that includes teammate Jarrid Famous during the first half. Coach Stan Heath says a lack of senior leadership hurt the Bulls.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — A team doesn't find itself at the bottom of the Big East rankings in almost every offensive category by accident.

In a 71-62 loss to Rutgers at the Louis Brown Athletic Center on Thursday, USF again put up an offensive performance that showed why it is struggling.

No play was more emblematic or more self-destructive than Jawanza Poland's missed dunk with 4:22 left. Poland had a wide-open opportunity in transition that could have swung momentum if he had thrown it down as emphatically as the high-flying sophomore guard had set it up. Instead, the dunk was blocked by the rim.

Poland would have cut into the Scarlet Knights' seven-point lead; instead it may have been the dagger that ended the Bulls' hopes of a second straight win.

"It was a letdown," USF coach Stan Heath said.

"He killed it for them with that dunk," said Rutgers guard James Beatty. "It could have given them momentum. Who knows what it would have done to us."

As ignominious as the play was, Beatty did the majority of the damage with 20 points, 18 in the second half.

After USF (7-13, 1-6 Big East) started the second half with a 5-0 run against a team that has been vulnerable to early knockout punches coming out of halftime, the Rutgers guard responded.

He hit three straight 3-pointers in an 11-0 run for Rutgers (11-7, 2-4). Later in the half a Beatty 3-pointer gave Rutgers a 47-44 lead with 8:34 remaining. It would be the last lead change.

"He is the straw that stirs the drink," Heath said of Beatty.

Augustus Gilchrist led the Bulls with 14 points, shooting 5 of 6. Hugh Robertson also scored 14, and Poland was the third Bull in double digits though on 3-of-14 shooting.

USF shot 38 percent and had 15 turnovers. But it was not just the sheer statistics that had Heath disappointed. He was troubled by how his team was a step slow on defense in the second half, and with a lack of discipline and patience in getting the ball to Gilchrist.

"The biggest difference in the game was their senior leadership," Heath said. "We had a vacuum in that area. We just didn't have anybody that really emerged and stepped up for us at key times. Not necessarily to give us points but give us some leadership out on the floor."

After a victory over Providence on Sunday, the Bulls missed out on a shot at a two-game winning streak in the Big East.

"It was an opportunity," Heath said. "We let it slip away."

Rutgers 71

USF 62

Rutgers Scarlet Knights beat South Florida Bulls 71-62 01/20/11 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 5:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs' Mike Evans wants his "A" game in 4th NFL season


    Bucs receiver Mike Evans has been in the NFL for three seasons, and in two of them, he's had 12 touchdown catches, setting and then matching his own team record. He made the Pro Bowl for the first time last season, but if you ask him to grade those three years, he doesn't see an "A" product just yet.

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans, shown during an OTA workout last month, said he wouldn't give himself an "A" for any of his first three NFL seasons, despite going to the Pro Bowl and twice catching 12 touchdown passes in a season.
  2. Where Tampa's national championship ranks among the greatest games ever


    If you needed any more convincing that Tampa's national championship at Raymond James Stadium was one of the best games in college football history, let me direct you to

  3. Red zone: New-look Kwon Alexander eager to prove himself


    On the morning that Bucs veterans report for the start of training camp, linebacker Kwon Alexander spoke with reporters and showed off a new red look to his hair, as well as an eagerness to get on the field and prove himself to doubters.

    Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander sports a new look with red hair as players reported for training camp Thursday.
  4. What you should know about new Rays reliever Dan Jennings


    The Rays have finally brought in a reliever — and this one isn't a DFA'd castoff. White Sox left-hander Dan Jennings Artsy, no?

  5. Sign up for the daily News at Noon email newsletter


    The Tampa Bay Times has launched a daily newsletter called News at Noon. It'll be the perfect way to catch up with the latest breaking news and our top stories right in your inbox each weekday.