Friday, February 23, 2018
Sports

USF Bulls beat Rutgers Scarlet Knights 67-65

TAMPA — Down by a point to Rutgers with 17 seconds left Sunday, USF coach Stan Heath knew exactly where he wanted the ball to be: in the hands of a freshman playing just his second Big East game, having scored just four points on the day.

But point guard Anthony Collins added another chapter to his promising young Bulls career, driving the length of the court and hitting a layup (and free throw) for a two-point lead with 12 seconds left. His rival in an electric, back-and-forth showdown, Rutgers freshman guard Eli Carter, missed a shot at the buzzer, and USF earned a 67-65 win before an announced 2,486 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

"I had a lot of confidence that at the end of the game, the ball was definitely going to be in (Collins') hands and he was going to make the play," said Heath, whose team beat Rutgers (8-6, 0-1) for the fourth time in the past six meetings. "We had a game a few games ago, Southern Miss, where he didn't get the ball. I made sure our guys understood: 'That guy gets the ball at the end of the game.' It happened, and good things happen for us."

Heath called the same play that Anthony Crater ran for the winning layup in the closing seconds to upset Villanova in last season's Big East tournament. On Sunday, Rutgers tried to steal the inbounds pass to the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Collins, but he moved quickly downcourt and hit his layup as he was fouled by 6-8, 245-pound Gilvydas Biruta.

"It felt good," said the quiet, unassuming freshman, who had a season-high 10 assists, one short of Chris Howard's school record for a Big East game.

USF (8-7, 1-1) played well in Wednesday's Big East opener, losing to No. 9 Connecticut by three. Both coaches Sunday said much of the Bulls' victory also belonged to the post play of senior center Ron Anderson, who had 15 points, 11 in the second half.

"I thought Ron Anderson was a difference maker. He came in and changed it with rebounding, with some intensity plays, some charges. That was huge for us," Heath said.

The game saw eight lead changes in the final 2:34, after USF had led the entire second half up to that point. Four guards made plays to give USF the lead in that final span: Hugh Robertson first, then a 3-pointer by Shaun Noriega, then two free throws by Jawanza Poland with 50 seconds left, then Collins' wild drive.

"I think it does a lot for us. Now we know what it takes," Heath said. "Now we know we can get the job done. Now we have an idea of what needs to take place. It wasn't just one guy. Several guys made some very, very good plays down the stretch, offensively and defensively."

Carter, who scored 31 in Rutgers' double-overtime upset at home of No. 10 Florida on Thursday, had a game-high 23 against USF, hitting four 3-pointers and getting a season-high five steals.

USF doesn't have much time to celebrate, hitting the road Wednesday to play at Villanova.

Comments
NHL trade deadline: Action picks up with three-team deal

NHL trade deadline: Action picks up with three-team deal

RALEIGH, N.C. — The  Penguins acquired center Derick Brassard from the Senators on Friday night in a three-team deal that sent defenseman Ian Cole to Ottawa and forward Ryan Reaves to the Golden Knights.The Penguins announced the deal...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Rasmus says he ditched Rays to spend time with family

Rasmus says he ditched Rays to spend time with family

SARASOTA — Colby Rasmus is making a new start with the Baltimore Orioles after taking an eight-month break from baseball.Rasmus signed a minor-league contract with the Orioles this week, after abruptly leaving the Rays in midseason. The contrac...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Can the Lightning win the Stanley Cup?

Can the Lightning win the Stanley Cup?

When it comes to the Tampa Bay Lightning these days, there's only one question that really matters:Will the Lightning win the Stanley Cup?That's it. That's the big question. That's the only thing on everyone's mind.Will it or won't it?Does this ...
Updated: 24 minutes ago

High school scoreboard for Feb. 23

Friday’s scoreboardSoftballSpringstead 2, Crystal River 0BaseballCalvary Christian 9, Countryside 2Northeast 15, Tarpon Springs 1
Updated: 1 hour ago
Erik Karlsson-to-Lightning talk won’t die down until deadline is over

Erik Karlsson-to-Lightning talk won’t die down until deadline is over

MONTREAL — Senators star defenseman Erik Karlsson sure seemed chatty with his Lightning friends as he left the Canadian Tire Center on Thursday night.Karlsson, 27, took his time talking up several members of Tampa Bay's staff in the hallway out...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Girls basketball: Rematch doesn’t go as planned for Tampa Catholic

Girls basketball: Rematch doesn’t go as planned for Tampa Catholic

TAMPA — Tampa Catholic thought about playing in Friday night's game — the Class 5A region girls basketball final — for an entire year. The Crusaders never forgot how much it hurt to lose in the same game to Oxbridge Academy in 2017....
Updated: 1 hour ago

Saturday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosXfinity: Rinnai 250 qualifying9 a.m.FS1Trucks: Active Pest Control 200 qualifying10:30 a.m.FS1Xfinity: Rinnai 2502 p.m.FS1Trucks: Active Pest Control 2004:30 p.m.FS1Baseball, spring trainingRays at Red Sox1 p.m.MLB;620-AMWhite Sox at Marine...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Girls basketball: Clearwater runs into a juggernaut

CLEARWATER — Without a doubt, Clearwater had the will to win. Unfortunately, Fort Myers had the skill, plenty of it.With talent filling every Green Wave role, nothing short of perfection would have kept the host Tornadoes competitive in Fr...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Impact of Tommy John surgery cuts deeply for Brent Honeywell, Rays

Impact of Tommy John surgery cuts deeply for Brent Honeywell, Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE – Two things that tell you a lot about Rays cocksure top prospect Brent Honeywell given Friday's crushing news that he indeed tore a ligament in his prized right arm and is headed for Tommy John surgery that will sideline him wel...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Girls basketball: Lakewood returns to state semifinals

Girls basketball: Lakewood returns to state semifinals

TAMPA — New season, same result.For the second straight year, Lakewood traveled to Robinson for the Class 6A region final. And like last season, the Spartans overcame a slow start to blow past the Knights, 83-52.Lakewood (26-4) will play on Wed...
Updated: 1 hour ago