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)

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

  1. Countryside alum A.J. Andrews lands in ESPN's annual body issue (w/video)


    A.J. Andrews has taken over the spotlight in softball. Last year, the former Countryside High and LSU standout became the first female to win a Rawlings Gold Glove in the award's 59-year existence.

    Former Countryside and LSU softball standout A.J. Andrews will be among 23 athletes to be featured in ESPN The Magazine's body issue. "I have a really ripped back," Andrews says while laughing in the video. [Photo from video]

  2. James Wilder Jr. back at running Canada


    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  3. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  4. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  5. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

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

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 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)