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 Bulls outlast Bowling Green in triple overtime

TAMPA — Before Friday, USF coach Stan Heath had never been involved in a triple-overtime game.

Then again, Heath had never been part of a night like this.

The Bulls overcame a seven-point deficit with a minute left in regulation — and a 22-minute power outage in the first OT — to win an 87-84 thriller over Bowling Green at the Sun Dome, the second-longest game in USF history.

"It was incredible, man," Bulls forward Victor Rudd said. "You love being a part of a night like that."

Rudd hit the tying 3 with three seconds left to force the first overtime, another tying 3 to force a third, and a three-point play with 13 seconds left that gave USF the lead for good before 4,008 in attendance.

"Terrific," Heath said of Rudd, who scored a game-high 29. "He was very, very special tonight."

And guard Martino Brock had a game-saving block. With 18 seconds left in triple OT and Bowling Green up two, guard Jordon Crawford threw a long pass over the USF press to Anthony Henderson, who was streaking for a wide-open layup.

Brock, easily 20 feet behind, somehow sprinted back and swatted Henderson's attempt. "That was the moment," Heath said. "Defensive play of the year."

Brock was brilliant in the first half, with 13 of his season-high 18 points. Heath thought the Bulls had put it away when they led by 11 with 12 minutes left.

But Rudd said USF (7-3) let its guard down. Crawford, the top scorer for the Falcons (5-6) who was scoreless in the first half, had 15 points in the final 15 minutes of regulation (27 overall). "He's a dynamic player," Bowling Green coach Louis Orr said.

But so is Rudd, who played 53 of the 55 minutes. Said Heath: "I shouldn't have took him out the other two." The Bulls controlled the first overtime, leading by four with 21.6 seconds left before the lights went out in the newly revamped Sun Dome.

"It's like, "What the heck is going on?' " Heath said. "We've got a new building, there's going to be some kinks." After the 22-minute delay, Jawanza Poland and Anthony Collins each missed the front ends of 1-and-1 free throws.

"That was the ultimate freeze," Heath quipped.

And, each time, Crawford raced to score a layup, forcing double OT. Rudd, again, came up clutch in the second OT, hitting a 3 with 27 seconds left to tie it. It was USF's longest game since a four-OT game Feb. 8, 1979, against New Orleans, but the Bulls have more than a week to recover on their holiday break.

"For me," Rudd said, smiling, "It's an extra good Christmas."

USF Bulls outlast Bowling Green in triple overtime 12/21/12 [Last modified: Saturday, December 22, 2012 12:27am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. If Tony Dungy sticks around, he'll broadcast the 2021 Tampa Super Bowl for NBC


    Lost in the Super Tuesday news of the Super Bowl coming back to Tampa was this nugget:

    Pictured, from left, Dan Patrick, co-Host, Tony Dungy, studio analyst, Aaron Rodgers. [Ben Cohen/NBC]
  2. Tragedy, tenacity helped shape Ridgewood valedictorian Johannah Cummines

    Volleyball Preps

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Even if her daily routine didn't permit calories to melt off, Johannah Cummines would deserve to pick anything on the menu.

    Ridgewood High senior Johannah Cummines and mom Chenell. Cummines is headed to Florida Atlantic, where she will play beach volleyball. (Photo courtesy of Johannah Cummines)
  3. Bucs Roberto Aguayo kicks off 2017 on the wrong foot


    The goal posts still seem to be moving for Roberto Aguayo.

    The Bucs woebegone place-kicker, who is in a battle with veteran Nick Folk, went 1-for-4 in field goal tries from 35-40 yards Tuesday on a set of narrow uprights, the first day of full squad Organized Team Activities.

    If that weren’t …

    Roberto Aguayo went 1-for-4 in field goal tries from 35-40 yards Tuesday on a set of narrow uprights.
  4. Rays morning after: Are cold bats a sign of things to come?


    How does an offense that has ranked among the most productive in the league for seven weeks go so cold?

    Steven Souza Jr. extended his weeks-long skid to 8-for-67.
  5. Calvary Christian takes strong lineup, defense to state baseball tournament


    CLEARWATER — No matter what happens in Friday's Class 4A state semifinal against Delray Beach American Heritage, Calvary Christian has already had a historic season. The unbeaten Warriors have won 28 games and qualified for the school's first state baseball tournament.

    The addition of Nolan Hudi to the rotation made a difference, said Calvary Christian coach Greg Olsen. “It was huge.”