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South Florida Bulls basketball commits 19 turnovers in loss to Seton Hall

NEWARK, N.J. — While USF has had several offensive deficiencies this season, it has usually been able to take care of the basketball.

That was not the case Wednesday night, though.

The Bulls turned it over 19 times, matching their second-highest total of the season, in losing 75-60 to Seton Hall in the Prudential Center.

The defeat was the fifth straight for the Bulls (8-19, 3-12 Big East) and seventh straight on the road, where they are 1-10, 1-7 in conference play.

USF began the night last in the conference in scoring, field-goal percentage and free-throw percentage but was turning the ball over only 13 times a night. That it exceeded that by six was more a matter of its sloppiness than the Pirates defense, in the estimation of senior guard Jesus Verdejo.

"The people we play against are not our enemy," he said. "We are our enemy."

"I told the team there are two kinds of turnovers: turnovers, and bad turnovers," coach Stan Heath said.

Bad turnovers, he said, are the ones that lead to fastbreak opportunities for an opponent.

"We had too many of those kinds of turnovers in this game," he said.

Sophomore guard Dominique Jones scored 20, including the 1,000th of his career, and USF enjoyed a 44-22 rebounding advantage. But the Bulls' turnovers did them in, as did the work of the Pirates (15-12, 6-9) from the arc.

Seton Hall, which was led by sophomore guard Jeremy Hazell's 20 points, nailed half of its 18 3-point attempts. The Bulls missed 13 of 14.

Jones, a point shy of 1,000 when the night began, reached that milestone by making two free throws just 2:50 into the game. He later pronounced it "all right."

Heath was more effusive.

"This is a guy that has carried a huge load for our team," he said. "It shows he's a special player, and yet I think his best basketball is in front of him."

The Bulls, who led 17-12 early in the game, were down only 32-30 at halftime. But the Pirates scored 16 of the second half's first 20 to take command. Hazell had two 3-pointers in that flurry, as did forward Robert Mitchell, who finished with 17 points.

USF was never closer than 10 the rest of the night.

Gus Gilchrist also scored 20 for the Bulls, and Alex Rivas finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Verdejo, who did not play in Saturday's loss at Connecticut because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot, started and played 21 scoreless minutes.

Seton Hall 75

USF 60

South Florida Bulls basketball commits 19 turnovers in loss to Seton Hall 02/25/09 [Last modified: Thursday, February 26, 2009 12:11am]
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