Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. USF Bulls

USF men battle to the buzzer but fall to Memphis

Early fouls and too many turnovers hinder the Bulls in their final regular-season home game.
USF forward Corey Walker (15) attempts a layup while Memphis Tigers forwards DeAndre Williams (12) and Josh Minott (20) apply pressure Thursday at Yuengling Center in Tampa.
USF forward Corey Walker (15) attempts a layup while Memphis Tigers forwards DeAndre Williams (12) and Josh Minott (20) apply pressure Thursday at Yuengling Center in Tampa. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Mar. 4|Updated Mar. 4

TAMPA — The final home game for the USF men’s basketball team played out like many of their others this season — with great effort but frustrating results.

Try as they might, the Bulls simply could not find enough key stops and shots to beat visiting Memphis, which applied consistent pressure with its deep bench, ultimately sealing a 73-64 victory Thursday night at Yuengling Center.

“Memphis is extremely good and they are an NCAA tournament team, but I have to give our guys credit because once again they fought and battled,” USF coach Brian Gregory said. “But against a team like that you have to make some of those (key) shots. We didn’t make enough of those (Thursday).”

The loss snuffed USF’s bid to win back-to-back games for the only time this season (following Saturday’s 56-54 upset of Cincinnati) and dropped the Bulls to 8-21 and 3-14 in the American Athletic Conference entering Sunday’s final regular-season game at Temple.

USF guard Caleb Murphy tries to get past Memphis guard Alex Lomax during the first half.
USF guard Caleb Murphy tries to get past Memphis guard Alex Lomax during the first half. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

Memphis (18-9, 12-5) jumped out to an 11-2 lead, but the Bulls kept battling, cutting their deficit to 25-24 with 2 minutes, 30 seconds remaining in the first half.

Flying high with some spectacular dunks, the Tigers answered with a 9-0 run that pushed their lead to 34-24 early in the second half. Again, USF kept scrapping and trailed only 39-35 with 11 minutes to go.

Memphis, however, would never lose its lead and, with 2:39 left in the game, moved out to its biggest advantage at 61-46.

The Bulls, despite having two of their leading scorers (Javon Greene and Jamir Chaplin) foul out, fought to the wire, hitting their last seven shots to cut the gap to 68-64 with 12 seconds remaining.

Memphis center Jalen Duren (2) attempts a shot but is blocked by USF forward Sam Hines (20) in the first half.
Memphis center Jalen Duren (2) attempts a shot but is blocked by USF forward Sam Hines (20) in the first half. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

In the end, Gregory said two key elements — USF 7-foot center Russel Tchewa picking up two fouls in the first 6 minutes and losing the turnover battle (16-6) — played huge roles in the loss.

“Not having (Tchewa) in there made it tough,” Gregory said. “He has been big for us lately.”

USF, which still led in rebounds (37-32) was led by forward Corey Walker, who finished with his first-ever double-double: 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Tchewa, limited to 24 minutes because of the foul trouble, still finished with a team-high 13 points.

Memphis 6-foot-10 freshman center Jalen Duren, a former consensus five-star All American from Montverde Academy, led all scorers and rebounders with 16 points.

• • •

Never miss out on the latest with the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida college sports and more. Follow our Tampa Bay Times sports team on Twitter and Facebook.

Advertisement

This site no longer supports your current browser. Please use a modern and up-to-date browser version for the best experience.

Chrome Firefox Safari Edge