Thursday, June 21, 2018
Sports

USF loses to UCF in final seconds

TAMPA — For those convinced USF had forgotten how to coach, shoot and compete in the wake of its most humiliating defeat of the season, the Bulls spent Saturday offering a fairly resounding rebuttal.

They just couldn't close their case.

Senior Isaiah Sykes' left-handed runner near the left block with 1.8 seconds to play lifted UCF to a 75-74 triumph, atoning for a one-point overtime loss to USF in Orlando 10 days earlier.

Martino Brock's ensuing desperation shot just inside halfcourt bounced off the back of the rim, leaving most in the Sun Dome crowd of 5,294 deflated, which still beats despondent. Three nights earlier, USF (12-14, 3-10 American Athletic Conference) had been embarrassed, 83-40, at Connecticut on national TV.

"I'm sure (fans) were worried about, 'Are they still gonna battle and still gonna fight?' Hopefully that answered the questions for our fans," said coach Stan Heath, whose team scrapped through 10 lead changes and enjoyed one of its best shooting efforts (49.1 percent).

"I know morale-wise, those guys are gonna hurt from this loss, and they should; I am, too. But it's just a part of the season. You've got to bounce back, and you've got to keep fighting."

Any fears about a UConn hangover were answered in less than four minutes, when the worst 3-point shooting team in Division I got two treys from guard Corey Allen.

USF finished with six 3s (its most in a league game this season), a 31-30 rebounding edge and a career game from Brock (21 points), whose array of baseline shots and putbacks resulted in his most prolific day in a Bulls jersey.

But in the end, USF had few answers for Sykes, a 6-foot-6 left-hander from Detroit.

On the final Knights possession, Sykes (27 points) got a screen from 6-foot-10, 310-pound freshman Justin McBride near the top of the key and drove to the left side of the lane, where the Bulls' intended trap never materialized.

"We rolled (McBride) out into a screen, overloaded the other side and just let those two guys play together," said coach Donnie Jones, whose Knights (10-13, 2-10) snapped a nine-game skid.

Sykes' layup bounced three times off the right side of the rim before falling in.

"That's all we were talking about was trapping that," Heath said. "The angle I think (center) John (Egbunu) had just wasn't the right angle to trap. Still, it wasn't horrible. (Sykes) made a hard shot."

Preceding Sykes' winner was a foiled Bulls possession, in which Shemiye McLendon's off-balance jumper in the paint fell short. Victor Rudd (21 points), the first option, had his attempted pick-and-roll neutralized by guard Calvin Newell's ball denial.

"I thought Shemiye got deep, he got the ball where we wanted it," Heath said. "But the ball kind of slipped out of his hands at the very last second, and I think that's what changed his shot at the end."

     
Comments
Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

HOUSTON — The Rays were engaged in a third straight tight, go-either-way battle with the defending champ Astros on Wednesday.Until they were not.A brutal seven-pitch sequence by starter Nathan Eovaldi changed everything, as he gave up three con...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

HOUSTON — The Rays saw a lot on the weeklong trip that ended with Wednesday's game against that Astros, beyond the street hustlers prowling in Times Square and the urban cowboys and girls parading through H-town.There was an impressive debuting...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox Sr. was watching the NFL draft 24 years ago when the phone rang. Buffalo coach Marv Levy was on the other line."Marv said they were taking me," said Knox Sr., a standout receiver at FSU.Soon after, Knox Sr. saw his name scroll across ESPN'...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman, a relentless part of the Lightning's push to the Eastern Conference final last season, was honored Wednesday night with the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defenseman."To the Lightning organization, Mr. Jeff Vinik, Steve Yzerman ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

RHP Nathan Eovaldi said before his rough start Wednesday against the Astros that he was pitching better than his numbers showed. Well … In four starts since his six no-hit innings debut, he's 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA, allowing eight homers, four Wed...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Sports on TV/radio for Thursday, June 21

TODAYBaseballRed Sox at Twins1 p.m.MLBMets at Rockies (in progress)4 p.m.MLBCubs at Reds7 p.m.MLBBlue Jays at Angels10 p.m.MLBCollege baseball, World SeriesFlorida vs. Texas Tech8 p.m.ESPNUGolfPGA: Traveler’s Championship3:30 p.m.GolfHorsesRoyal Asco...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Report: Bucs QB Jameis Winston bracing for suspension from NFL

Report: Bucs QB Jameis Winston bracing for suspension from NFL

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston could be suspended for up to three games  next season following the league's investigation into allegations he groped a female Uber driver in Arizona in 2016, a Tallahassee radio station reported.Jeff Cameron, a&#...
Updated: 4 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

UPDATE, 6:43: Cash said the key to how the pieced the lineup together was the opportunity to give Cron (who is struggling) and Duffy (who is doing well) back to back days off. … Looking ahead to the weekend, the Rays will use RHP Ryne Stanek as...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Phil Mickelson apologizes four days after hitting moving ball at U.S. Open

Phil Mickelson apologizes four days after hitting moving ball at U.S. Open

NEW YORK — Phil Mickelson has apologized four days after intentionally violating golf rules by hitting a moving ball on the green at the U.S. Open, saying his frustration got the best of him. The apology came Wednesday in a statement released by his ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Tough questions are mere child’s play for Kevin Knox

Tough questions are mere child’s play for Kevin Knox

Growing up, Kevin Knox II watched videos or listened to motivational tapes during car rides to and from school so he could learn how to expand upon answers in interviews.That was all by design.His father, Kevin Knox Sr., knew about the spotlight as a...
Published: 06/20/18