Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

South Florida Bulls basketball team runs out of steam, loses to West Virginia

USF’s Dominique Jones goes around West Virginia’s Alex Ruoff in the first half for two of his team-high 18 points.

WILLIE J. ALLEN JR. | Times

USF’s Dominique Jones goes around West Virginia’s Alex Ruoff in the first half for two of his team-high 18 points.

TAMPA — Short-handed and struggling to keep up with Big East competition for a full 40 minutes, USF is understandably showing signs of fatigue down the stretch. Sunday's 64-50 loss to West Virginia was the Bulls' sixth straight, all by at least 10 points.

"There's going to be a point in the game where you have go up one more notch to get over that hump and finish it. We're struggling to find that," said point guard Chris Howard, who had 10 points and matched a career high with 11 assists. "Hopefully, we have two more games and the mind-set is to finish out strong and get these two."

The Bulls (8-20, 3-13) played well early, leading 24-23 and trailing 30-27 at the half before a Sun Dome crowd announced at 5,082. West Virginia (20-9, 9-7) got a boost from senior guard Alex Ruoff, a Brooksville Central graduate who was held scoreless until 1:01 remained in the first half.

Ruoff hit a 3-pointer before the half, then scored eight as West Virginia opened the second half on a 10-1 run, and the Bulls wouldn't get closer than seven points again. A 3-pointer from guard Dominique Jones cut the lead to nine with 3:56 to play, but the Bulls didn't score again.

Ruoff led West Virginia with 16 points, and the Mountaineers outrebounded USF 38-25, including 15 offensive boards.

"It's been huge for us all year," West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. "We're not very big, but we're long and because of the way we play offensively, we try to get people spread out on defense."

USF, which already had lost guard Mike Mercer and center B.J. Ajayi to season-ending knee injuries, played without its No. 2 scorer, guard Jesus Verdejo, who has an injured foot.

"You're looking at potentially three starters that aren't playing for us," said USF coach Stan Heath, who was assessed a technical foul — his first in two season with the Bulls — after arguing a foul called on forward Aris Williams in the second half. "That's a huge number. It doesn't mean all a sudden you're challenging for the league championship, but it's a difference in how fresh these guys are at the end of the game."

The Bulls have their home finale Tuesday against Cincinnati.

W. Va. 64

USF 50

South Florida Bulls basketball team runs out of steam, loses to West Virginia 03/01/09 [Last modified: Sunday, March 1, 2009 9:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return

    Bucs

    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  2. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits

    Colleges

    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  3. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  4. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. preserves shutout with perfect throw

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The closest the Angels came to scoring off RHP Matt Andriese in Thursday's 4-0 Rays victory occurred in the first inning, when DH Mike Trout tried to score from second on a single to right. But the throw from RF Steven Souza Jr. was on the money, and Trout was out.

    "That …

    Colby Rasmus collects high fives and shoulder rubs after driving in all four of the Rays’ runs in their victory Thursday. Rasmus had two run-scoring hits a day after hitting a home run.
  5. Rays at Twins, 8:10 p.m. Friday, Minneapolis

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Twins

    8:10, Target Field, Minnesota

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: RH Chris Archer (3-3, 3.76)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)