Sunday, February 25, 2018
Sports

USF Bulls rally to beat Providence Friars for second time, 55-48

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — According to the play-by-play sheet, USF beat Providence 55-48 Saturday by converting 8 of 10 free throws in the final 59 seconds of their Big East game.

Realistically, the Bulls (15-10, 8-4) prevailed because seldom-used junior Shaun Noriega came off the bench and buried consecutive 3-pointers that produced a 47-46 lead with 1:46 to play.

LaDontae Henton's basket gave the Friars (13-13, 2-11) a 48-47 lead, but point guard Anthony Collins commenced USF's parade to the line as the Bulls made six straight free throws. The free-throw shooting — 12-of-15 for the game — might have been rendered moot were it not for Noriega.

"It was one of those gut feelings," coach Stan Heath said of his decision to insert Noriega with just more than two minutes remaining. "I asked him, 'What do you think? Can you do it?'

"He said, 'I've got one.' And the kid gave me two. Those were big momentum plays for us, and they changed the game. … He hadn't played much recently, and I didn't want to put him in a bad spot."

What made Noriega's long-range shooting more impressive was the fact he had not played in four of the previous six games.

"The last couple of weeks have been rough," he said. "But I just tried to stay positive and get better so I can play and contribute. I think (Saturday's) a big stepping-stone for our team and also for myself."

The Bulls moved four games over .500 for the first time since joining the Big East. But as Heath noted, the win wasn't easy, one reason being Providence scored 13 off 15 turnovers.

"We were very fortunate to steal a win," Heath said. "We just tried to hang in there, and we took a lot of punches."

Victor Rudd was the only Bull to reach double figures (11). Vincent Council (16) led the Friars.

The Bulls, who led 24-21 at halftime, also did a better job with their man-to-man defense against Providence than has been the case in the past. They held the Friars to 30 percent shooting and limited freshman forward Henton to seven points after he scored a career-high 33 on Jan. 29 in USF's 81-78 win.

"We knew we had to take away their transition," Heath said. "We did a much better job in the second half. I think it took some of their guys who can really score and didn't allow them to get in a rhythm that they've gotten into before.

"I don't know how those guys feel, but I'm exhausted," he added, with a laugh. "The guys did a fantastic job, and there are a lot of heroes in that locker room."

Comments
For starters, Rays at Twins, with Venters making first spring outing since 2013

For starters, Rays at Twins, with Venters making first spring outing since 2013

As the Rays head back to Fort Myers today for a game on the other side of I-75 to take on the Twins at 1:05, there are several spring debuts worth noting:First, that LHP Jonny Venters, trying to make it back to the majors for the first time since 201...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ex-Rays prospect Andrew Toles working his way back from knee surgery for Dodgers

Ex-Rays prospect Andrew Toles working his way back from knee surgery for Dodgers

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Andrew Toles made a two-base error and went 0-for-3, and his team lost. All told, it was still a pretty good day for the Dodgers left fielder.In his first game since a serious knee injury last May, the former Rays prospect ret...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Florida boosts NCAA resume by beating No. 12 Auburn 72-66

Florida boosts NCAA resume by beating No. 12 Auburn 72-66

GAINESVILLE — KeVaughn Allen finally got the message. It took a scoreless game and long chats with coach Mike White and two teammates to sink in.Allen bounced back from his worst game in more than three years with 24 points, including a 60-foot...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Winter Olympics: Sunday’s viewing schedule

Winter Olympics: Sunday’s viewing schedule

TV Sunday5 a.m.–7 p.m. NBCSNHockey (M) — Gold-medal game, athletes from Russia vs. Germany (replay)1968 — A 90-minute documentary, narrated by four-time gold medalist and 23-time Grand Slam singles tennis champion Serena Willia...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Chad Reed sets Supercross mark; Eli Tomac wins 450SX main event

Chad Reed sets Supercross mark; Eli Tomac wins 450SX main event

By JIM TOMLINTimes CorrespondentTAMPA — Chad Reed is having a down season by his standards. At Saturday's Monster Energy Supercross event at Raymond James Stadium, his home track, he needed a second chance just to make the main event.But the Da...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Ondrej Palat skating, likely mid-March return

Ondrej Palat skating, likely mid-March return

MONTREAL — It is an encouraging sign for the Lightning that wing Ondrej Palat (right) is back on the ice, even if he is doing just light skating.Palat is arguably the team's best two-way forward, someone who plays in all situations, so Tampa Ba...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Lightning tops Canadiens in shootout, looks ahead to trade deadline

Lightning tops Canadiens in shootout, looks ahead to trade deadline

MONTREAL — There's no guarantee general manager Steve Yzerman will be able to pull off a big move by Monday's trade deadline, though indications are the Lightning and Senators are working hard on a potential Erik Karlsson blockbuster.And the Li...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Tulane avenges USF’s only conference win

TAMPA — Samir Sehic had 17 points and seven rebounds off the bench and Melvin Frazier added 16 points and five assists to lead Tulane over USF 79-68 on Saturday to snap a six-game losing streak.Caleb Daniels added 13 points and Jordan Cornish 1...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Winter Olympics: Norway sets Winter Games medal mark

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Surpassing its own lofty expectations, Norway has delivered the greatest performance in the history of the Winter Games, winning a total of 38 medals, 13 of them gold. A nation of only 5 million people has crushed all comer...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Inside the Rays’ plan to prove the tanking truthers wrong

Inside the Rays’ plan to prove the tanking truthers wrong

PORT CHARLOTTE – The Rays know tanking."We tanked in 2006 and '07, if you want to call it that," principal owner Stuart Sternberg said. "We were the original tankers. Or tankees. It seems to be all the fad now."In losing 101 and 96 games in the...
Published: 02/24/18