Fresh off on a disappointing loss to SMU where they had a shot to steal a win on the road they traveled to Tampa to face the USF Bulls. The Bulls were 3-13 overall and 0-3 in the conference so the Bearcats were supposed to get on track right?
The first half was interesting as the Bearcats had control most of the half, but went into the locker room tied at 26 apiece. They had 5 more shots than the Bulls leading that battle 25 to 20, but the problem was they were shooting 24% from the field. For the third game in a row the Bearcats were playing Bearcat defense as of the 26 points 13 of them were from turnovers which is something Coach Cronin is happy about. They allowed the Bulls to shoot 55% from the field on 20 shots.
The second half started so much better for the Bearcats as they went on a 25-10 run during the first 9:11 in the half. The defense still looked active and the offense seemed to come aboard also, but after that good 9 minutes of basketball they had a terrible 11 minutes of basketball on the offensive end as they only scored 3 more points the rest of the game. They allowed USF to shoot 51.1% from the field, but they only had 45 attempts and they caused 18 turnovers and only had 10 turnovers themselves. This game was very ugly offensively as they shot 30.9% from the field. The Bearcats escaped with a 54-51 win, but it wasn’t impressive considering who they were facing.
Troy Caupain had a team high 14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. Octavius Ellis had 10 points and played solid after the eye injury. The grinder of the game was Gary Clark as he had 11 rebounds and 5 points.
The Bearcats are now 12-5 overall and 2-2 in the AAC.
They will face Houston at home on Wednesday at 7 pm on ESPNU.