TAMPA — For the first time in nearly two years, USF is above .500.
The Bulls compensated for their turnover propensity with interior dominance in an 84-73 season-opening triumph against Florida A&M on Friday night before an announced Sun Dome crowd of 3,106. USF, which lost its first four games last season, has a winning record for the first time since Dec. 18, 2014.
Playing without suspended point guard Jahmal McMurray, USF struggled against FAMU's pressure in the second half and finished with 16 turnovers. Moreover, promising newcomer Tulio Da Silva (nine points, nine rebounds) and veteran forward Bo Zeigler (15 points) fouled out as the Bulls and Rattlers each collected 23 fouls.
"I think we got a little sloppy and you've got to give Florida A&M credit," said Bulls coach Orlando Antigua, who watched the Rattlers pull within five midway through the second half. "They were trying to scrap, trying to get back, and it's something that we were preparing for. We just didn't handle it really particularly well in the second half."
But USF finished with a 47-32 rebounding advantage, getting a double double from 7-foot junior Ruben Guerrero (13 points, 16 rebounds). Penn State transfer Geno Thorpe led the Bulls with 19 points in his USF debut. Former Berkeley Prep standout Craig Bowman scored 20 for the Rattlers.
GATORS TOP FGCU: Devin Robinson scored 14 and John Egbunu added 13 as Florida defeated Florida Gulf Coast 80-59 in Jacksonville. The pressing Gators used a 15-0 run midway through the second half to erase a five-point deficit and take the lead for good. Canyon Barry, a graduate transfer from College of Charleston and the son of Hall of Famer Rick Barry, had 13 points and six rebounds in his UF debut.
No. 1 Duke 94, Marist 49: Grayson Allen scored 16 and freshman Frank Jackson had 18 in his debut for the host Blue Devils, who played without three injured big men from a freshman class widely considered the nation's best: center Marques Bolden (leg) and forwards Harry Giles (left knee surgery) and Jayson Tatum (foot sprain).
No. 2 UK 87, SFA 64: Isaiah Briscoe scored 17 to lead the host Wildcats, who led comfortably throughout the game against Stephen F. Austin.
No. 4 'Nova 88, Lafayette 48: Jalen Brunson scored 17 as host Villanova opened defense of its national championship.
No. 7 Xavier 84, Lehigh 81: Trevon Bluiett scored a career-high 25 and led a second-half surge to lift the host Musketeers.
No. 8 uVa 76, NC Greensboro 51: Marial Shayok scored 15 and the visiting Cavaliers ran off a 22-0 run over more than 11 minutes spanning halftime as the game turned into a rout.
No. 9 Wis. 79, Cent. Ark. 47: Bronson Koenig had 16 points and Nigel Hayes scored 10 of his 14 in the second half for the host Badgers.
No. 10 Ariz. 65, No. 12 Mich. St. 63: Kadeem Allen took the ball the length of the court and scored with 1.3 seconds left to propel the Wildcats in the Armed Forces Classic at Honolulu.
Oregon: Coach Dana Altman has a new seven-year deal worth $18.45 million good through 2023. He has led the school to six straight seasons with at least 20 wins and four straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
No. 1 ND 107, Central Mich. 47: Arike Ogunbowale scored 19 in the first half and finished with a career-high 30 to lead the host Irish in the Preseason WNIT.
No. 2 BAYLOR 118, HOUSTON BAPTIST 43: Kalani Brown scored 16 of her career-high 24 in the third quarter for the host Bears.
No. 5 L'VILLE 100, UT MARTIN 57: Asia Durr scored 24 in 21 minutes for the visiting Cardinals, who opened with a 21-0 run.
NO. 7 OHIO ST. 89, DUQUESNE 69: Kelsey Mitchell had 18 points to lead four players in double figures for the host Buckeyes.
No. 10 Miss. St. 108, 'Nova 62: Roshunda Johnson scored 21 off the bench to lead the Bulldogs at Bangor, Maine.
No. 12 FSU 73, JACKSONVILLE ST. 62: Shakayla Thomas scored 16 to lead the host Seminoles.
No. 20 UF 85, S. ALA. 33: Ronnie Williams, Eleanna Christinaki and Haley Lorenzen scored 16 apiece in Jacksonville for the Gators, who matched their most lopsided season opener. The other 52-point win came against Tampa in 1983.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.