Friday, February 23, 2018
Sports

USF Bulls fall to Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — The losing streak continues for the USF Bulls.

Tray Woodall scored 14 and Dante Taylor had 12 points and 10 rebounds, his best showing in a Big East game this season, to lead No. 23 Pittsburgh to a 64-44 victory over USF on Wednesday night at Petersen Events Center, the Bulls' 10th consecutive loss and 14th in the past 15 games.

It marked the fifth time this season that Pitt has held a Big East opponent to fewer than 50 points.

USF coach Stan Heath said the Bulls had something to do with the latest one.

"Our team got off to a good start, but we just couldn't sustain it," Heath said. "We were good for 28, maybe 30 minutes.

"It seemed like we had a hard time making some plays. We've been struggling all season long, especially scoring the ball. Their defense was good. They've got a good team, and certainly they can continue to win games and do damage going forward."

Losing Big East games at Petersen Events Center had been a rarity for Pitt, until this season. The Panthers already had lost three entering the night.

For a while, USF had high hopes of handing Pitt its fourth.

No such luck for the last-place Bulls (10-17, 1-14), who put up a good fight in the first half before losing their grip and falling to the Panthers before 12,320.

Woodall scored 10 in the second half, when Pitt (22-7, 10-6) used a 16-0 run to put away USF, which hasn't won since beating league-leading Georgetown on Jan. 19.

"We had good momentum to start the game," said Heath, who then flashed a smile and added, "We haven't been able to sustain it for 40 minutes, except for when we played the first-place team in the league."

Not even Victor Rudd's game-high 16 points could carry USF, which had beaten the Panthers in the teams' past two meetings, including 56-47 last season at Petersen Events Center.

It was a signature win for the Bulls in a monumental season that saw them reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 years.

This time, USF tried to make up the difference down the stretch, scrapping for loose balls and pressing the Panthers. But the margin was too much to overcome.

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