USF BULLS RULE THE WAR ON I-4
[TAMPA FLORIDA] The Bulls came into the game hoping to snap a four-game skid and a record of (5-10, 0-3). Jamir Chaplin has scored in double figures in four straight games. He looks to lead the Bulls to their first conference win of the season. As their archrivals the UCF Knights come into the War on I-4 with a record of (10-4, 2-2). The two schools have met 43 times USF leads the series 24- 19, UCF won the last meeting on February 17, 2021, by the score of 81-65, in Orlando.
The Bulls Javon Greene #1 started the scoring with his first of FIVE from downtown. He also was 7-11 from the field, 5-9 from downtown, 6 rebounds,2 assists, and 33 minutes. He was helped by fellow guard Caleb Murphy (23), who quietly had 12 points,6 rebounds,2 assists and was four of four from the charity line. They received help from forward Bayron Matos (14), who had 9 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist. Jamir Chaplin had his 5th straight game scoring double digits, 4 of 9 from the field, and was 2 of 2 from the free throw line.
The biggest story was the crowd that played a big part in the 75-51 victory that sent the Knights driving up I-4 with a tough loss. Coach Brian Gregory said, “We appreciate the students and fans that came out tonight. If we have crowds like that the Yuengling center will be a tough place to play.” The Bulls defense held the Knights to just 51 points and 33% from the field. The Knights shot 10% from the downtown. The Bulls dominated the glass that led to 25 second chance points. USF out rebounded UCF, by 53-26, the most in school history.
Javon Greene, said that the coaches and the team’s message at the half when the Bulls led by 9 points, “it’s a 0-0 game.” Greene was not only the leading scorer as previously mentioned, he held one of the top scorers in Junior Guard Darin Green Jr (22), to just 3 points in the game (averaging 14.9 ppg). The Knights did not make their first three point shot until the 2:03 mark in the first half. The Knights had scoring droughts that lasted as long 3:12 and 3:45. USF forward Caleb Murphy said, (This gives the team a lot of confidence going into the game against the Houston Cougars.”
I think that the Bulls and Head Coach Brian Gregory (BG), have found their identity. The Bulls played up tempo and in your face defense. If they can go into Houston with the same confidence and energy, from the tip to the buzzer they can pull off the upset against the Cougars. Everyone including Mark Calleja (2), came into make two free throws for the Bulls that sealed the win (75-51).
Calleja said, “I have never played against UCF in my three to almost four years. It meant the world to me.” The Head Coach Brian Gregory had a message for the fans and student section, “BG, loves it and thanks you. They where loud and we need that energy every time we step on the floor here. Thank you, BULLS!!” The Bulls take on #11 Houston on January 18,2022. The Cougars beat the Bulls 83-66 in the first meeting here in Tampa. The Bulls next home game is January 22,2022 against the Temple Owls. Until then I am Cliff McAfee, signing out form Tampa, Florida, as the Bulls stomped the Knights 75-51.
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