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' season ends with 62-56 loss to Ohio Bobcats in NCAA Tournament

NASHVILLE — It would have hurt no matter how or when it ended, but for USF, the painful part of falling 62-56 to 13th-seeded Ohio in the NCAA Tournament's third round on Sunday night was the way its strengths weren't there in the end.

The Bulls' signature defense, which carried them to the first two NCAA Tournament wins in the program's history, let the Bobcats go 9-for-18 on 3-pointers, and Ohio scored 41 in the second half to eliminate the Bulls at Bridgestone Arena.

Twelfth-seeded USF saw its Cinderella run trumped by an even bigger underdog. Ohio is just the second team seeded 13th or lower to advance to the Sweet 16 in the past 12 years.

"Of course, I was upset we lost, but I'm not disappointed," said guard Victor Rudd, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds. "I know this is going to set the tone for our team next year, but I'm just sad to see our seniors leave on this note."

USF (22-14) saw momentum swing twice in the second half on five-point possessions by Ohio (29-7), first on an intentional foul called on Rudd for grabbing a Bobcats player jersey, which resulted in two free throws then a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession.

That erased a five-point lead, and the same thing happened when Jawanza Poland dunked the ball for a 42-37 lead with 9:23 left only to be called for a technical for hanging on the rim. Ohio's Nick Kellogg hit both free throws then hit a 3-pointer, erasing USF's lead and sparking a 17-4 run that had the Bobcats up 54-46 with 3:28 to play.

"I don't want to blame one play … (to say it) decided the game. It certainly changed momentum," Bulls coach Stan Heath said. "I don't think we handled … the response was not normal for us. In games like this, 30 seconds can change, and it did."

Ohio, which had upset fourth-seeded Michigan on Friday right before USF upset fifth-seeded Temple, retook the lead at 47-46 on a 3 by Walter Offutt, who went 4-for-4 beyond the arc and had a game-high 21 points. Offutt entered the game having missed 14 of 18 3-pointers over his previous six games.

Then even the sure things went away. USF had been 11-for-12 at the line, but Ron Anderson and Poland both missed front ends of one-and-ones, and Shaun Noriega, an 85 percent free-throw shooter, missed both his attempts, allowing Ohio to extend its lead to eight.

USF had gone 1-for-12 on 3-pointers, but the Bulls cut the lead to three when Toarlyn Fitzpatrick hit a 3 with 49 seconds left. But D.J. Cooper hit both his free throws, and USF missed on the other end, allowing the Bobcats to pull away for the victory.

The Bulls matched a school record with 22 wins and earned the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament victories after making the NCAAs for the first time in 20 years. Those accomplishments were momentarily overshadowed by the finality of a surprising run that ended too soon for the Bulls players.

"Right now, we probably don't appreciate how blessed we are to get this far when no one picked us to go this far in preseason," said freshman point guard Anthony Collins, who had 13 points and six assists. "I'm sure when we look back, everyone will appreciate it and enjoy the time that we had with each other."

Ohio 62

USF 56

.Fast facts

Five at a time

In a tight game, Ohio twice had five-point possessions that tied the score in the second half.

16:03 left: USF's Victor Rudd grabs Walter Offutt's jersey, an intentional foul. Offutt makes two free throws, then a 3-pointer to tie it at 31.

9:26 left: USF's Jawanza Poland hangs on the rim after dunking, a technical foul. Nick Kellogg makes two free throws, then a 3-pointer to tie it at 42.



Outgunned

The 3-pointer proved USF's demise as Ohio made more 3s (9) than 2s (8), while the Bulls shot just 13.3 percent from beyond the arc:

USFOhio

2-153-point FG9-18

13.33-point FG pct.50

18-312-point FG8-25

58.12-point FG pct.32

14-19Free throws19-25

32Points in paint12

33Rebounds25

Source: ESPN, Times

USF Bulls' season ends with 62-56 loss to Ohio Bobcats in NCAA Tournament 03/18/12 [Last modified: Monday, March 19, 2012 11:20am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa lawyer Fred Ridley to be new chairman of Augusta National, Masters' home (w/ video)

    Golf

    AUGUSTA, Ga. — Fred Ridley first came to Augusta National to compete in the 1976 Masters as the U.S. Amateur champion, and he played the opening round in the traditional pairing with the defending champion, Jack Nicklaus.

  2. Rays send down Chase Whitley, Andrew Kittredge; add Chih-Wei Hu, acitvate Alex Cobb

    Blogs

    After having to cover more than five innings following a short start by Austin Pruitt, the Rays shuffled their bullpen following Wednesday's game, sending down RHPs Chase Whitley and Andrew Kittredge,

    The Kittredge move was expected, as he was summoned to add depth to the pen Wednesday in advance of RHP Alex …

  3. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred moves closer to wanting a decision on Rays stadium

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred called Wednesday for urgency from Tampa Bay area government leaders to prioritize and move quicker on plans for a new Rays stadium.

    MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred talks with reporters at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    The Austin Pruitt experiment might be over, or at least put on pause. After allowing six runs over seven innings to Seattle on Friday, the rookie didn't get through the fourth Wednesday, giving up five runs on four homers. His ERA for past six starts: 5.29.

  5. Six home runs doom Rays in loss to Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — A curve that didn't bounce was the difference Wednesday as the Rays lost 7-6 to the Blue Jays in front of 8,264, the smallest Tropicana field crowd since Sept. 5, 2006.

    Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (11) greets center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) at the plate after his two run home run in the third inning of the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.