Friday, June 22, 2018
Colleges

USF proves no match for Houston in AAC basketball opener

TAMPA — For a program thirsting for positive vibes, USF’s recent three-game nonconference win streak — its first in three years — was a welcome morsel of history.

Now for the mountain of reality.

The Bulls still have quite a climb before seriously contending for an American Athletic Conference title.

Overmatched inside and playing without top scorer Payton Banks (illness), USF fell to Houston 79-60 Thursday in the conference opener for both teams before an announced crowd of 2,273 at the Sun Dome.

The Bulls (7-7), whose overhauled roster features nine new scholarship players and a new coaching staff, never led. A minute into the game, they trailed 6-0. Four minutes in, they were down 16-5.

USF trimmed the deficit to three a couple of times early in the first half, but it couldn’t neutralize the Cougars’ depth and dominance in the paint (30-18 scoring advantage inside) or they’re mostly proficient shooting (28-of-62 from the floor).

Additionally, the Bulls managed only 11 assists (two in the second half) and committed 13 turnovers.

"It’s gonna be tough to win, as I’ve said from Day 1," said first-year USF coach Brian Gregory, whose team shot only 31.6 percent (18-of-57). "We’ve got to get a lot of good basketball from a lot of guys; that’s just the fact. You can maybe survive with one guy not having a good game. It’s hard when three guys don’t play well."

As it stood, freshmen Justin Collins and David Brown led the Bulls with 16 and 15 points, respectively.

Playing with a brace on his recently injured left knee, Collins hit a 3 midway through the first half to cut the deficit to 21-18. But in a sequence that exemplified the night, the Cougars (11-2) responded with an 8-0 run.

They led 42-33 at halftime, then opened the second half with a 12-2 run. "We had some stretches where we fought the way we’re supposed to fight," Gregory said. "Those need to be lengthened."e_SClBWomen

No. 13 FSU 82, Jacksonville 50: Imani Wright scored 24, leading four into double figures for the host Seminoles (12-1), the 12th time in 13 games they have had four or more reach double figures.

No. 2 Notre Dame 87, ’CUSE 72: Jessica Shepard, playing despite a sprained ankle, had 24 points and 12 rebounds as the host Irish (12-1) pulled away in the third quarter of the ACC opener for both teams.

No. 3 L’ville 74, Ga. Tech 71: Asia Durr returned to her hometown and scored 38, but it took Myisha Hines-Allen’s driving layup with 1.9 seconds left to save the visiting Cardinals in the ACC opener for both teams. The Yellow Jackets built a 22-13 lead with 9:55 left in the second only to watch Louisville (15-0) close the quarter on a 33-12 run in which Durr scored 18. With the score tied at 71 with 5.5 seconds left, Arica Carter inbounded to Hines-Allen just beyond the free-throw lane. She drove the right side and banked in the winner.

No. 5 Miss. St. 112, Miss. Valley St. 36: Teaira McCowan scored a career-high 41 in helping the host Bulldogs (14-0) score the second-most points in school history.

No. 6 Baylor 88, Kansas St. 58: Kalani Brown scored 20 on 7-of-10 shooting to lead the visiting Bears (10-1) in the Big 12 opener for both teams.

No. 8 Texas 88, Oklahoma 78: Lashann Higgs scored a career-high 25 and the visiting Longhorns (10-1) won in Norman for the first time since the 2009-10 season. It was the Big 12 opener for both teams.

No. 9 W.?VA. 87, TCU 82: Katrina Pardee and Chania Ray combined on two quick baskets in the fourth quarter to finally put the visiting Mountaineers (13-0) ahead to stay in the Big 12 opener for both teams.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Comments
Florida eliminates Texas Tech at College World Series, faces Arkansas for title-round spot

Florida eliminates Texas Tech at College World Series, faces Arkansas for title-round spot

OMAHA, Neb. — JJ Schwarz hit a two-run homer and Florida built enough cushion to survive Texas Tech's six-run outburst over the seventh and eighth innings to eliminate the Red Raiders from the College World Series with a 9-6 win Thursday night....
Updated: 8 hours ago
Florida State will host Florida Gators to open this basketball season

Florida State will host Florida Gators to open this basketball season

For the first time in almost two decades, Florida and Florida State will open the men's basketball season against each other.The Seminoles will host UF on Nov. 6, both programs announced Wednesday morning. FSU has won four in a row in the series."Any...
Published: 06/20/18
With starting QB Josh Jackson’s status resolved, FSU will open against full-strength Hokies

With starting QB Josh Jackson’s status resolved, FSU will open against full-strength Hokies

Florida State's primetime opener against Virginia Tech looks a little tougher now than it did a few days ago.Hokies starting quarterback Josh Jackson has had his academic eligibility resolved and remains on the team, the Roanoke Times reported Tuesda...
Published: 06/19/18
As USF-Yuengling bond grows, is SEC’s alcohol stance slowly shifting?

As USF-Yuengling bond grows, is SEC’s alcohol stance slowly shifting?

USF's expanded partnership with Yuengling — including naming rights to the Sun Dome — is only the latest part in an evolving relationship between college sports and alcohol, as my colleague, Joey Knight, wrote on the front page ...
Published: 06/18/18
Florida’s Brady Singer voted top college baseball player of year

Florida’s Brady Singer voted top college baseball player of year

OMAHA, Neb. — Florida pitcher Brady Singer has won the Dick Howser Trophy as college baseball's player of the year.Singer, who received the award Friday, carries a 12-1 record and 2.30 ERA into the College World Series, which begins Saturday. T...
Published: 06/15/18
Former Plant QB Rex Culpepper cancer-free; ready to return to Syracuse lineup

Former Plant QB Rex Culpepper cancer-free; ready to return to Syracuse lineup

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Rex Culpepper is back. The smile on his face said it all. The redshirt sophomore quarterback had his first full workout with Syracuse on Friday after overcoming testicular cancer. He said he broke down and cried when he was told he w...
Published: 06/15/18
Willie Taggart comes clean on the origin of ‘Do Something’

Willie Taggart comes clean on the origin of ‘Do Something’

During his question-and-answer session with more than 500 Manatee-Sarasota boosters Monday evening, FSU's Willie Taggart was peppered with the normal inquiries about recruiting, offensive scheme and the Seminoles' quarterback derby.All well and good....
Published: 06/12/18
When Willie Taggart filled in for Tommie Frazier at Manatee High

When Willie Taggart filled in for Tommie Frazier at Manatee High

It would have been easy — expected, even — for Willie Taggart to be nervous when he started in place of the injured Tommie Frazier as Manatee High's starting quarterback in 1991.Nope. Taggart wasn't, even though he was the first...
Published: 06/12/18
FSU football coach Willie Taggart gets local hero’s welcome

FSU football coach Willie Taggart gets local hero’s welcome

SARASOTA — He slithered and scrambled his way into the local consciousness in the fall of 1991.Manatee High's Willie Taggart, 145 pounds in a sopping jersey, suddenly found himself with the keys to the Hurricanes' ruthlessly efficient opti...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18
Florida Gators add West Virginia grad transfer Adam Shuler

Florida Gators add West Virginia grad transfer Adam Shuler

Former West Virginia defensive lineman Adam Shuler announced Monday that he plans to join the Gators as a graduate transfer.Shuler, a 6-foot-4, 268-pound Longwood native, started 10 games for the Mountaineers last season. As a redshirt sophomore, he ...
Published: 06/11/18