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. Rays journal: Erasmo Ramirez ready to start a day after closing game

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — RHP Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound to finish Sunday's 15-inning marathon win over the Twins and will start tonight's game against the Rangers.

    The Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez throws 12 pitches in the 15th inning against the Twins to earn the save then says after the game that he’s ready to make his scheduled start against the Rangers: “My arm feels good.”
  2. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  4. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    The Rays won because they got two innings of good relief from each of the two pitchers who contributed to them losing Saturday's game, Danny Farquhar (who again struck out Miguel Sano) and Tommy Hunter, who both posted zeroes.