South Florida Holds Off Austin Peay on the Hardwood

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(Photo Courtesy of USF Chaplin)

               Bulls Rebound and Hold off the Govenors

Tampa, FL- The University of South Florida Bulls are riding a two-game losing streak. The (3-4) Bulls play host to the Austin Peay State Governors (4-4). The Bulls looked to extend their lead in the series as the two schools have met three other times resulting in wins for the Bulls. A win here will boost the confidence of the Bulls after losing two close games in a row at home.

                 In the Bulls seventh home game in Tampa, both teams started the game very slow just shoot 17% at one point. However, the Bulls were able to find their footing and led by Guard Caleb Murphy who led all scores in the half with 6 points. USF as a team shot 30% from the field however, they were just 3 of 7 from the free throw line during the half. Javon Greene was held to 0 points for the half and was 0 for 5 from three-point range. However, the Bulls defense held Austin Peay State to just 20% from the field and 17% from 3-point range during the half. The Governors were perfect from the free throw line led by Carlos Paez and Caleb Stone-Carrawell, both going 2 for 2.

Bulls Forward Sam Hines Jr ( Right) and Javon Greene after Victory Over Austin Peay ( Photo Credit: Cliff McAfee UMT Sports)

The Second half, Javon Green, was cold during the first half he started the scoring in the second half with a three after the Governors turned the first possession of the half over. The Bulls started the second half on a 7-0 run. However, the Austin Peay came back and made it a three-point game led by clutch three-point shooting from Cameron Copeland, making it (35-32) with 10:27 remaining in the second half. Later in the half, Tariq Silver tied the game at 40-40 with a deep three-point shot. At one point the Bulls lead by 14 points, thanks to Jamir Chaplin (10 points), Caleb Murphy (12 points), and Javon Greene (14 points). Despite not scoring in the final 4:30 minutes of the contest the Bulls managed to shoot 55.6% for the second half. In the presser Javon Greene said, “We just kept telling each other that we have to lock in. We didn’t get as many rebounds as we wanted but free throws win games and we stretched the lead.”

South Florida’s Jamir Chaplin #24 Taking the shot against Austin Peay Tuesday night in the Bulls win over the Govenors (Photo Credit Cliff McAfee -UMT Sports)

 

The biggest story of the night was the Bulls defense who held the Governors to under 55 points (51). The Governors averaged 73 points per a game coming into tonight contest. USF defense coming into the game ranked 12thin the nation in scoring defense (57.1ppg). The defensive rebounding from the Bulls led by Javon Greene, had 8 rebounds to go along with his 14 points and 3 steals. In his first start of the season Sam Hines Jr, who had 4 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. On more than one occasion, Austin Peay went without a shot for as long as 9 plus minutes. Hines also, logged 27 minutes and his performance earned praise from Head Coach Brian Gregory, “Sam gave us energy tonight, and he was really good off the glass, his ability to guard multiple positions was big for us.” USF out rebounded the Austin Peay 41-33 and have out rebounded their opponents in six of the last eight games to date. The Bulls defense held the Governors to just 24 percent (7-29), from downtown. “I was proud of the way our guys responded after an extended break following a tough loss last time out,” said head coach Brian Gregory. “We did a great job on the defensive end. We rebounded, caused turnovers and blocked shots. Their attention to detail on the defensive end was tremendous tonight, and you saw some flashes of us making progress offensively.” The University of South Florida improves to (4-4) after defeating Austin Peay 60-51. A big test Saturday December 18th, for USF against Florida (7-3), in Miami, at the Orange Bowl Classic. The Bulls do not return to the Yuengling center until December 29, against Miss Valley State 7pm EST.

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Go Bulls!!