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 hammered by Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —After Louisville beat up on his USF team 80-54 Tuesday night, the last thing Bulls coach Stan Heath was going to do was pile on.

"I'm not going to be happy that we lost, but we aren't going to beat ourselves up," he said. "And we are going to get back to Tampa in 80-degree weather and enjoy ourselves."

While Heath found some positives in the game against the 11th-ranked Cardinals, it was the hosts who were enjoying themselves at the KFC Yum! Center.

Despite being outsized by the Bulls (12-15, 3-11 American) at every position, the Cardinals simply dominated inside. Louisville (22-4, 11-2) outscored USF 56-26 in the paint and grabbed 17 offensive rebounds.

"We've been having problems (inside) lately," said Heath. "My young big guys are going to be really good, both John (Egbunu) and Chris (Perry). They are just young. They give up position. They struggle with ball screens and team are watching them on film and they are exploiting us."

The Bulls could not overcome 20 turnovers and failed to take advantage when Louisville's best frontcourt player picked up his fourth foul in the first minute of the second half.

Cardinals starting forward Montrezl Harrell fouled a driving Zach LeDay to get his third foul 39 seconds into the half. Both received technicals, which sent Louisville's leading rebounder and second-leading scorer to the bench for the next 12:08.

The Cardinals led 46-30 at that point. Twice the Bulls cut the advantage to 12, but they drew no closer.

The loss overshadowed a great performance by Victor Rudd, who finished with a season-high 27 points and 10 rebounds. The senior forward shot 11-of-17 and passed Fred Lewis to become the program's 14th leading scorer.

USF now gets a week-long break before hosting No. 21 Connecticut, the Bulls' final match-up against an American top-five team. Heath said he will give his team a couple of days off, hoping the players can regain their confidence heading into the final stretch of the regular season.

The Bulls still have a chance to get the sixth seed and avoid a first-round game in the conference tournament as they are two games behind sixth-place Houston. Rudd believes that's an attainable goal.

"I just want to get as many wins as possible," he said. "My team's been playing hard the last couple of games, and that's all I can ask for as a senior."

USF hammered by Louisville 02/18/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 11:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh

    Soccer

    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. LSU's Paul Mainieri defends FSU's Mike Martin; Gators play Friday

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — LSU coach Paul Mainieri says whether Florida State's Mike Martin ever wins a national championship should have no bearing on how his long career in college baseball is judged.

    MADE IT: Josh Watson beats the tag of Louisville catcher Colby Fitch during TCU’s 4-3 win in the College World Series.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101