WASHINGTON — USF already had the Big East's worst scoring offense. Saturday, the Bulls took it to a new level in a 75-45 loss at No. 14 Georgetown, shooting 31 percent and threatening its record for fewest points in a game.
The Bulls (13-10, 6-4) trailed early, going scoreless for almost 11 minutes during the first half.
"I thought we played horrible in the first half," coach Stan Heath said. "This wasn't our typical team."
It was USF's most lopsided Big East loss; the Bulls had lost by 26 three times. USF's record for fewest points in a game is 36.
Forward/center Augustus Gilchrist was the only Bull in double figures with 15 points. Four Hoyas reached that total.
The Bulls led 5-4 lead after Ron Anderson's layup 4:53 in. USF didn't score again until Gilchrist's 3-pointer from the top of the key with 4:12 left cut Georgetown's lead to 18-8.
In that span, the Bulls turned the ball over on nine consecutive possessions.
"Our carelessness, especially in the first half, put us in that deficit," Gilchrist said. "Turnovers is the name of the game. When we don't take care of the ball, we don't put ourselves in a position to have the possessions to go against a team that scores like Georgetown."
USF had a strong finish to the first half. Tough inside play from Gilchrist and forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, a former King standout, cut the Hoyas' lead to 23-15.
But at the start of the second half, Georgetown (18-4, 8-3) capitalized on turnovers and used quick, sharp passing to go on a 16-4 run.
After a sluggish first half offensively, Georgetown scored 52 second-half points on 65 percent shooting.
"We kind of hoped going into the second half we would be able to turn it up," Anderson said. "We didn't really change too much."
For Heath, the defensive struggles stemmed from lack of scoring.
"We just got real frustrated offensively," Heath said. "The more we couldn't score, the more we got frustrated. Then all of a sudden the avalanche opened up, especially with the back-door scoring and their 3-point shooting."
The Hoyas made 5 of 12 3-pointers. USF, one of the conference's top 3-point teams, made 4-of-19.
The Bulls return home Wednesday to face Pittsburgh. Gilchrist said the lopsided loss hasn't derailed their confidence.
"You got to have a short memory," Gilchrist said. "We know we have other games. We still put ourselves in pretty good position for the rest of the year."