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)

Syracuse Orange tops USF Bulls 55-44 before sellout crowd

TAMPA — Syracuse and coach Jim Boeheim made their final trip to the Sun Dome as Big East members Sunday, and one thing USF won't miss is the Orange's signature stifling zone defense.

Playing to its first home sellout in 11 years, USF jumped out to a promising 17-7 lead against No. 7 Syracuse, but that defense clamped down at the end of both halves, allowing the Orange to pull away to a 55-44 win before a balanced crowd of 10,024.

"The offensive rebounds was just ridiculous. Their size, their quickness, their length, it gave them so many more opportunities than we had," coach Stan Heath said. "That was a huge difference in the game."

Syracuse (14-1, 2-0) held a 43-26 rebounding advantage, including 23-6 on the offensive boards, with USF (9-4, 0-1) getting 11 total rebounds from Victor Rudd but only 15 from the rest of the team.

"That's a tribute to the fact that we can't make a shot," Boeheim said of the offensive rebounding in his 904th career win. "I've never seen a worse offensive performance. I can't remember one."

Rudd gave USF hope early, hitting his first four shots, including three dunks, for a 10-point cushion that held up until Syracuse got its first lead with 3:26 left in the half. Syracuse's zone took away the baseline lob and altogether shut the Bulls down, holding them to one field goal in the final 11:32 of the half for a 30-23 lead at the break.

USF stayed close, trailing 47-42 with six minutes to play, and the Bulls had four consecutive possessions to cut the Orange lead only to muster three turnovers and a missed shot. Twice in the final four minutes, they couldn't manage a shot, losing the ball on shot-clock violations. Again, USF went more than eight minutes with just one field goal, its offense failing to capitalize on opportunities its defense created.

"Everybody's tall. They keep you out of the lane, and they do that very well," said USF point guard Anthony Collins, who had seven assists but was held to five points on 2-for-2 shooting.

Brandon Triche led the Orange with 20 points, while James Southerland added 17. Rudd led the Bulls with 15 points, moving into the team lead for scoring this season, but did so on 5-of-13 shooting, missing eight of his last nine shots. Jawanza Poland added 12.

The sellout was the first in the Sun Dome since the Bulls lost to Florida 92-73 in December 2001; it's the second sellout for USF basketball in the past 20 years.

Syracuse is headed to the ACC after this season; the Bulls now stay home for their second Big East game, an easier challenge against Villanova on Wednesday night.

Greg Auman can be reached at and at (813) 226-3346.

Syracuse Orange tops USF Bulls 55-44 before sellout crowd 01/06/13 [Last modified: Sunday, January 6, 2013 7:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. HomeTeam 100: Players 61-70


    Jefferson wide receiver Dontavius Smith during the game between Jefferson High School and Jesuit High School at Jesuit on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, in Tampa, Fla.
  2. A second chance at life, away from the game he loved

    The Heater

    Dylan Delso, a catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays' Gulf Coast League team, displays his scar at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. On June 25, 2016 Delso fell backward down a flight of stairs, suffering a nearly fatal head injury that put him in a coma for eight days. He's finally back on the baseball field after a miraculous recovery.
  3. Rays morning after: Steven Souza Jr.'s status is a major concern


    The Rays will know more about the status of RF Steven Souza Jr. later today after reviewing results of a scheduled MRI and exam of the left hip he strained in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.

    Steven Souza Jr. strained his left hip in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.
  4. Lightning's Ondrej Palat happy with new deal, new talent

    Lightning Strikes

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) works to play the puck against the Winnipeg Jets during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Tuesday evening (01/03/17).
  5. 2008 playoff thoughts in bloom for Rays; Souza injury not expected serious in loss to A's

    The Heater

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Before the 7-2 loss to the A's and Steven Souza Jr.'s hip injury, or at least scare, Wednesday started with good vibes in the Rays' clubhouse.

    Rays rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. hurts his hip after an awkward slide into second base during the first inning.