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 Bulls clinch winning Big East record with 56-47 road win over Pittsburgh Panthers

PITTSBURGH — Let the bubble talk continue. In fact, chat it up now.

USF's improbable surge to its first NCAA Tournament bid in 20 years took another step Sunday night.

Freshman guard Anthony Collins scored a career-high 22 on 8-of-10 shooting and added six assists and two steals as the Bulls handcuffed Pittsburgh 56-47, their season-high fourth victory in a row.

"I know USF isn't a sexy name around the country, but 10 wins in this conference is 10 wins in this conference," USF coach Stan Heath said. "That's a hell of a deal. We should be in a big discussion nationally for what our guys are doing."

USF (17-10, 10-4 Big East) posted its most victories in a season in the conference and tied a school record with its fourth conference road win, matching Heath's 2009-10 team, which won nine league games overall.

"We're trying to build a tradition at our school," Heath said. "We're motivated. There's still a lot more work to do."

Pitt coach Jamie Dixon, whose team has lost four in a row and 12 of the past 16, praised USF's season. "That's a team that's made great strides this year," he said. "Their patience and defensive mentality has really turned them around."

Despite Pitt's uncharacteristic slide — the Panthers (15-13, 4-11) are in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 11 years — Heath revered its long-standing basketball mystique.

"To come to Pittsburgh and win is very unusual," he said of the Bulls' first win at the Petersen Events Center.

But that's exactly what USF did, and in convincing fashion. The Bulls outrebounded the Panthers 36-30, with Ron Anderson grabbing nine, and held them to 34.6 percent shooting.

Collins, though, seemed oblivious to it all, despite a crowd of 9,849.

"I just play basketball," he said. "I don't worry about the road or focus on the crowd."

Dixon said USF is playing like an NCAA Tournament team.

"I know their nonconference may hold them back in some people's eyes, but that's in November and December," he said. "They're a different team now. They seem to be playing their best basketball."

USF held Pitt senior guard Ashton Gibbs, the Big East preseason player of the year, to a season-low two points on 1-of-7 shooting. Gibbs had four points in USF's 63-51 win on Feb. 8.

The Bulls clung to a 28-27 halftime lead then scored the first eight of the second half, five by Collins, to go up 36-27.

Pitt closed within 42-39 on a dunk by J.J. Moore, who led Pitt with 21 points, before Toarlyn Fitzpatrick's 3 ignited the Bulls' knockout punch that carried them to a 56-41 lead with 1:15 left.

USF Bulls clinch winning Big East record with 56-47 road win over Pittsburgh Panthers 02/19/12 [Last modified: Monday, February 20, 2012 8:59am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener

    College

    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    USF outfielder Chris Chatfield is congratulated by third-base coach Chris Cates after hitting a three-run homer in the third inning, tying the score at 3.