#12 Houston Cougars vs USF Bulls
TAMPA, FLORIDA, January 5, 2022- The Bulls came into the night looking to upset the #12 Houston Cougars (12-2, 1-0 AAC) and earn their first win over the Cougars since 2016. USF (5- 7, 0-0 AAC), return from their long road trip from the Orange Bowl Classic vs Florida and then the Diamond Head Classic- in Honolulu. The Bulls started the contest with two quick three pointers by Javon Greene #1. The Bulls defense that ranks 24th in scoring held the Cougars to just 44% from the field in the first half. The Cougars had a possession that had four offensive rebounds before they made the bucket.
The Cougars were led by Forward/Center Graduate student Josh Carlton who had 18- points in the first half. He was 8 of 12 from the free throw line and had 11 rebounds and led all scores for the game with 30.He also made eleven straight shots. The Cougars got to the free throw line the entire game and shot 73% from the free throw line as a team. Houston came into the game as one of the nations best rebounding team averaging 37 per game. They had 37 with 6:10 to go in the second half and dominated the glass in both halves.
Bulls drop their conference opener to No. 12 Houston.
Jamir Chaplin matches his career high with 16 points and Jalyn McCreary scores a season-high 12 points. pic.twitter.com/r1ZNWLivsB
— USF Men’s Basketball (@USFMBB) January 6, 2022
The Bulls on the other hand shot 75% from the free throw line as a team. The Cougars had four players in double digit scoring on the night. Javon Green made a ridiculous three-point shot breaking the ankles of Cougars defender Taze Moore (#4). The Bulls were led by Javon Greene and Jamir Chaplin (24). Greene led the Bulls with 16-points and was 50% from the free throw line. Jamir Chaplin had 7 rebounds to go along with his 16 points and 5 assists. The Bulls kept it close in the first half trailing only by three points (40-37).
The second half, the Cougars just took over the game out scoring 43-29. The Bulls where out rebound 40-31 for the game. Despite the Cougars being in foul trouble with 19, for the game. Even though the Bulls made 7 of 20 three balls, they went 2 of 11 in the final 20 minutes of the game. It was obvious that Houston went into half-time and made adjustments. McCreary said, “They went 2-3 and it messed us up, in the second half.” Coach Brian Gregory said, “That they are out physical us in the second half, and the probably moved faster.” Houston played with more energy and more hype being a Final four team from 2020, said Chaplin. It was obvious that the Cougars wanted to take Caleb Murphy out of the game plan for the Bulls. He finished the game with 9 points and 4 assists. Gregory explained that his team is a young team and is competing with “Top 10 programs.” He went on to say that his team “We need to find away to put it all together. May an extra four-minute scoring drive and it’s a four-point game instead of and eleven-point game.” Gregory is right his team has fought in every game giving teams such as Florida, Auburn, and Houston, a run for their money.
The Bulls didn’t start the New year off as they hoped falling to the #12 team in the country the Houston Cougars, by the score of 83-66. The Bulls will have a chance to snap their two-game losing streak on Saturday January 8th at Tulane. The next Bulls home game is on Saturday January 15th versus their rivals the Knights of Central Florida.