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 blows lead, falls to Cincinnati

USF guard Anthony Collins falls as he passes the ball under pressure from Cincinnati’s Jermaine Sanders in the first half.

Associated Press

USF guard Anthony Collins falls as he passes the ball under pressure from Cincinnati’s Jermaine Sanders in the first half.

CINCINNATI — For 35 minutes, USF had Cincinnati, and possibly the Bearcats' NCAA Tournament hopes, on the ropes. The Bulls held an eight-point lead. The crowd at Fifth Third Arena grew restless, and national basketball pundits began tweeting about a possible upset.

But like many Bulls opponents this season, the Bearcats (21-10, 9-9 Big East) rebounded. They crashed the boards, especially on offense, to force overtime and pull out a 61-53 victory Saturday.

The Bulls led 45-37 after a Zach LeDay 3-pointer with 5:45 left in the second half. But Cincinnati closed regulation on a 10-2 run, with two offensive rebounds sparking the rally. In overtime, the Bearcats pulled down five more offensive rebounds, which led to six second-chance points.

"We are going to have to be more aggressive," USF forward Victor Rudd said. The Bearcats "were aggressive, they did what they were supposed to do and got the win."

In all, the Bearcats grabbed 14 offensive rebounds and enjoyed an 18-9 edge in second-chance points. Saturday marked the 12th time a Big East opponent grabbed at least 10 offensive rebounds on the Bulls (12-18, 3-15), who lost 10 of those.

"The thing I thought cost us the most was the rebounding," USF coach Stan Heath said. "Whether it was the rebounds and the free throws or rebounds on some of the shots that maybe we had possession or looked like we were going to get. It seemed like they got all of those 50-50 plays with a lot of those rebounds."

Cincinnati's final run also came as LeDay and Anthony Collins fouled out. Collins, the point guard, fouled out with 14 seconds left. Cincinnati's Cashmere Wright made one free throw to tie the score and force overtime. Wright finished with 15 points.

USF led the entire first half, answering each time Cincinnati pulled close. Rudd hit 4 of 6 3-pointers in the half. He finished with 22 points, and he and Kore White both had six rebounds.

Despite the loss, the Bulls still enter this week's Big East tournament with some momentum, having won two games in the past week. USF plays Seton Hall on Tuesday night. The Pirates beat USF 55-47 on Jan. 23, which started the Bulls' 10-game conference skid.

"This is our postseason and we want to make the most out of it," Heath said. "We'll have to take it one game at a time. Hopefully, we can take an excerpt out of UConn's page from a few years back" and win five games in five days.

USF blows lead, falls to Cincinnati 03/09/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 9, 2013 9:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    John Tortorella, in Tampa in 2014 for the 10-year Stanley Cup win party, will return next season for the team’s anniversary event.
  4. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Matt Duffy is expected to resume his baseball activities once the stitches heal.
  5. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote


    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.