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 upset No. 24 Seton Hall Pirates 56-55

TAMPA — It has been an upside-down month in the Big East, and fittingly, USF found itself on the winning end again Friday night, rallying from 10 points down in the final six minutes to knock off No. 24 Seton Hall 56-55 at Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Down 52-42, the Bulls ended the game on a 14-3 run, punctuated by Toarlyn Fitzpatrick's 3-point play for the lead with 55 seconds left.

Seton Hall got a putback to get within one, and guard Jordan Theodore — who USF coach Stan Heath had called "probably the best player in our league right now" — had a one-and-one for a chance to win with 3.8 seconds left. The 82 percent free-throw shooter missed the front end, and Fitzpatrick grabbed the rebound to seal the Bulls' first win over a ranked opponent in nearly two years (Feb. 3, 2010, at No. 7 Georgetown).

"It says a lot about our team, when we put our minds to something. We really wanted this win," said senior Ron Anderson, who had a team-high 14 points, six during the final run.

USF (10-8) matched last season's win total, and its 3-2 conference record marks the deepest into Big East play the Bulls have had a winning league record. Seton Hall (15-3, 4-2) was ranked for the first time in 11 years, but the Bulls almost certainly made it a short stay in the polls. After committing 12 turnovers in the first half, USF had just two in the second, and none in the final 10 minutes.

"Our guys really hung tough … a lot of big plays made, offensively and defensively," Heath said. "The second half, just taking care of the basketball … was monumental. … So many guys played well for us. … Anderson was just a beast. He defended, rebounded, made his free throws, did all the little things for our team."

USF nearly gave the win away. Up one, guard Jawanza Poland missed the front end of a one-and-one with 21 seconds left, then freshman point guard Anthony Collins (six assists) fouled Theodore with 3.8 seconds, giving him a chance to win.

"We had a one-and-one to win the game. That's all you can ask for in this league on the road," Pirates coach Kevin Willard said.

Four players scored in USF's 14-3 run. Collins started it with a layup, Anderson scored the next six points, then Poland hit a 3-pointer to tie the score with 2:22 left, setting up Fitzpatrick's go-ahead play.

The crowd, announced at 3,805, came alive in the final nine minutes on dunks by Hugh Robertson and Poland that immediately preceded the Bulls' final surge.

"That place got pretty loud once we started making a comeback" Fitzpatrick said. "We really fed into that. We got hyped, the crowd was hyped. It was just a hyped atmosphere, and that's normally something you don't see here. It just really had us fired up. I think that's why we were able to pull off such a close game. It really kept the energy going in the building."

USF stays home and faces St. John's (8-8, 2-3) Wednesday night, with a winnable road game four days later at DePaul (10-6, 1-3). With continued solid play, the Bulls could be 5-2 in the Big East with seven more games against unranked conference opponents.

Greg Auman can be reached at and at (813) 226-3346. Check out his blog at

USF Bulls upset No. 24 Seton Hall Pirates 56-55 01/13/12 [Last modified: Friday, January 13, 2012 11:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  2. Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier returns, Mallex Smith sent to Triple A

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It didn't take CF Kevin Kiermaier long to make his presence felt during his return Friday to the Rays lineup. Kiermaier pretended to have Mariners DH Nelson Cruz's first-inning line drive lined up even as the ball went past him to his right and to the wall.

    Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) flies out in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    6:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    This is a 2017 photo of Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  4. Bucs journal: Starting defense disappointed holding Jags to 1 rushing yard


    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs' starting defense held the Jaguars to a total of 1 rushing yard on seven carries in the first half of Thursday's 12-8 preseason win.

    And its members were disappointed.

    Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon (24) is thrown for a 1-yard loss as he is stopped by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (54) and defensive end Robert Ayers (91) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) JVS102
  5. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day


    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    Jameis Winston, left, tries to hang on to the ball as Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler tries to strip it from him.