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)

USF basketball wins season opener, 72-62 over Tennessee Tech

TAMPA — On an opening night when a rookie appeared poised to steal the show with splash plays, the fifth-year veteran trumped him with clutch ones.

Besieged by foul problems much of the evening, USF senior Victor Rudd scored 15 of his team-high 23 in the last 5:07 to help the Bulls hold off Tennessee Tech 72-62 at the Sun Dome in their season opener.

With the Golden Eagles chipping away at what had been a 14-point Bulls lead, Rudd helped his team re-seize the momentum in a 65-second sequence. His one-handed transition dunk off a Musa Abdul-Aleem steal elicited the night's heartiest roar from the Sun Dome audience of 4,103.

After an Eagles miss, Rudd followed with a 3-pointer, giving the hosts a 61-50 lead with 2:40 to play. He then sank his final eight free throws down the stretch, finishing 11-for-12 on an otherwise abysmal night for USF (25-for-40) from the stripe.

"Sometimes you're maybe not quite in rhythm, you're not having a great game, but you find ways to get things done, and he found ways to get things done" Saturday, said coach Stan Heath, again missing junior point guard Anthony Collins (knee).

"You want your senior to be able to do that."

While Rudd delivered in the clutch, 6-foot-8, 260-pound rookie Chris Perry sparkled in the paint.

A former Bartow High behemoth, Perry (14 points, seven rebounds, two blocks) had a mesmerizing six-point spurt early in the second half that gave the Bulls their first 10-point lead.

He followed a tip-in with an alley-oop dunk off a Corey Allen feed, and he added another dunk off an inbounds play to give USF a 36-25 advantage. For the night, he and 6-10 classmate John Egbunu finished with 21 total points, 14 rebounds and four blocks.

"(Perry) doesn't know how good he can be," Heath said. "And when he figures that out, when that light bulb really clicks on, he's an all-conference-type player."

USF basketball wins season opener, 72-62 over Tennessee Tech 11/09/13 [Last modified: Saturday, November 9, 2013 10:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Sorry, Nebraska, Scott Frost appears interested in staying at UCF

    College
    Scott Frost has UCF undefeated with an important game at Navy next. [Getty Images]
  2. Tampa Bay Downs full of high-paying races this season

    Parimutuels

    OLDSMAR — Tampa Bay Downs is green like never before.

  3. Astros rout Yankees to force Game 7 of AL Championship Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Luis Severino for the second time, and the Astros bats came alive in their return home as Houston routed the Yankees 7-1 Friday night and forced a decisive Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

    The Astros’ Brian McCann, who has struggled during the ALCS, breaks a scoreless tie with an RBI double during the fifth inning off Yankees starter Luis Severino.
  4. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.
  5. Quarterback Jameis Winston will start Sunday for the Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Jameis Winston hadn't thrown in practice since he injured his right shoulder in Sunday's loss at Arizona, and with that uncertainty, a wide line of TV cameras and reporters' cellphones were all out Friday morning, recording the moment as Winston tested his shoulder with his first throws early in …

    Despite a sore shoulder, Jameis Winston will be making his 38th consecutive start since being drafted first overall in 2015.