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USF Bulls stifled in second half, fall 69-46 to Virginia Commonwealth Rams

RICHMOND, Va. — USF entered Wednesday night with only seven completely healthy players. As the game wore on, that number dwindled.

The injuries mounted, and things fell apart for the Bulls. What was a tie score at halftime ended as a blowout, and Virginia Commonwealth defeated USF 69-46.

Forward Augustus Gilchrist, the Bulls' second-leading scorer, and guard Jawanza Poland were out with injuries. Guard LaVonte Dority had issues with his shoulder and played only one minute.

"The health of our team is not very good," USF coach Stan Heath said. "We're a lot more short-handed than we want to be right now."

Compounding the issue for the Bulls (5-3), Toarlyn Fitz­patrick and Blake Nash both hobbled off the court with leg pains, though they returned later in the game.

Asked how many completely healthy players were left on the roster, Heath said with a laugh, "I don't even want to count."

The score was tied at 28 going into halftime. But VCU, fresh off a trip to the Final Four in last year's NCAA Tournament, went on a 23-7 run to start the second half. By the 10-minute mark of the half, VCU had complete control.

"We just weren't the same team in the second half," Heath said.

After hitting 48 percent of their shots in the first half, the Bulls hit only 26 percent in the second to finish 18-of-48 for the game. The strong 3-point defense USF had displayed in recent games also faded: The Rams hit 2 of 10 from behind the arc in the first half and 8 of 14 in the second. Troy Daniels led VCU (4-3) with 17 points and hit 5 of 9 3-pointers.

"The games we've played well and won big, we've shut teams down in the second half," VCU senior Bradford Burgess said. "When we get stops in the second half, we win."

Ron Anderson led the Bulls with 15 points, and Victor Rudd had 10. Freshman Anthony Collins, making his first career start, couldn't continue the surge that brought him from the bench to the starting lineup and finished with two points.

The Bulls travel to No. 15 Kansas on Saturday for their second straight game against a 2011 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight participant.

VCU 69

USF 46

USF Bulls stifled in second half, fall 69-46 to Virginia Commonwealth Rams 11/30/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 11:16pm]
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