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 loses AAC opener 88-73 to No. 18 Memphis

TAMPA — The Memphis Tigers spent the better part of their New Year's Eve doing everything except dropping the ball.

Instead, they drained it, drove it, dunked it and ripped it off the glass relentlessly, all at USF's expense.

The shorthanded Bulls' formal inauguration into American Athletic Conference play was more like a harsh initiation. Outplayed in virtually every facet by the Tigers (10-2), USF fell behind early and never regrouped in an 88-73 defeat at the Sun Dome.

The win was the Tigers' sixth in a row in the series, and 19th in 22 meetings against the Bulls (9-4), who might have been hard-pressed to match Memphis' athleticism with a full squad.

As it stood, Bulls starting point guard Anthony Collins (knee tendinitis) and key reserve Javontae Hawkins (hip pointer) watched from the bench in warmups.

What they observed was a veritable clinic conducted by the nation's 18th-ranked team, and a determined, dunk-filled effort by 6-foot-10 Bulls freshman John Egbunu (20 points, 14 rebounds), who helped spark a 30-16 Bulls run to end things.

The Tigers finished with a 39-34 rebounding advantage (24-13 in the first half) and scored 47 in the paint to the Bulls' 38. Twenty-six minutes into the game, Memphis had more dunks (six) than USF had assists (five).

The most deflating: guard Joe Jackson's coast-to-coast slam at the first-half buzzer off a simple inbounds pass, giving the guests a 48-32 lead at intermission.

Not that Memphis didn't wreak damage away from the rim.

The American's second-worst 3-point shooting team (29.5 percent) entering the game, Memphis sank three in the first 12 minutes, including 6-foot-9 sophomore Shaq Goodwin's first of the season during a 9-0 Tigers run.

The Tigers finished 8-of-19 from behind the line. USF, the only conference team worse from long range, missed all nine of its tries.

But even as the Bulls clanged in a new year, Egbunu scrapped and slammed underneath. Senior Victor Rudd, meantime, nearly notched his fourth double double (17 points, nine rebounds).

Egbunu's double double was his second of the season, the first coming only eight days earlier. His point and rebound totals both were season highs, as were his six dunks.

Geron Johnson had 19 points and Jackson and Michael Dixon Jr. added 18 each for Memphis. Jackson had 14 points and Dixon 10 in the first half.

Memphis has won its past 10 conference openers.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

USF loses AAC opener 88-73 to No. 18 Memphis 12/31/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 10:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Muslim faith greater than fear for Wharton's Rania Samhouri (w/video)

    Tranckandfieldpreps

    TAMPA — Rania Samhouri graduated Monday night from Wharton High School, and many times throughout the ceremony she flashed back to a moment that changed her life.

     Rania Samhouri stretches after track practice on Monday April 24, 2017 at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Rania, who is Muslim, recently started wearing her hijab during track competitions. She graduates from Wharton this year and will attend University of South Florida on scholarship next year.
  2. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return

    Bucs

    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  3. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits

    Colleges

    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  4. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. preserves shutout with perfect throw

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The closest the Angels came to scoring off RHP Matt Andriese in Thursday's 4-0 Rays victory occurred in the first inning, when DH Mike Trout tried to score from second on a single to right. But the throw from RF Steven Souza Jr. was on the money, and Trout was out.

    "That …

    Colby Rasmus collects high fives and shoulder rubs after driving in all four of the Rays’ runs in their victory Thursday. Rasmus had two run-scoring hits a day after hitting a home run.