Bulls erase some bad memories

South Florida waited all season to beat one of the Big East's powers. Now the Bulls will try to pull two upsets in as many nights. The Bulls advanced by rallying from a 16-point halftime deficit to knock off Villanova 70-69 in the first round on Tuesday night and now faces No. 25 Cincinnati on Wednesday night in the second round of the Big East tournament at New York.

Headline>Bulls erase some bad memories </Headline>

South Florida waited all season to beat one of the Big East's powers. Now the Bulls will try to pull two upsets in as many nights.

South Florida faces No. 25 Cincinnati on Wednesday night in the second round of the Big East tournament at New York. The Bulls advanced by rallying from a 16-point halftime deficit to knock off Villanova 70-69 in the first round on Tuesday night.

South Florida (10-22) lost eight of its last nine regular-season games and is the 15th seed in the 16-team tournament. It had won just one tournament game since joining the Big East at the beginning of the 2005-06 season.

"The way our season went, to get this win is so nice because it's been a long season," South Florida sophomore guard Shaun Noriega said. "To get this win and upset Villanova, we feel really good about that."

South Florida would feel even better if it could beat Cincinnati, too. The Bulls lost at Cincinnati 74-66 on Jan. 12 as Sean Kilpatrick led the Bearcats with 18 points. Ron Anderson Jr. had 13 points to pace South Florida, which had 18 turnovers to Cincinnati's seven.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE: South Florida outrebounded Villanova 26-21 and has held the edge on the boards in 25 of its 32 games this season. The Bulls will need to have a strong rebounding game against Cincinnati -- the Bearcats are second in the Big East and 26th in the nation with a 54.5 rebounding percentage.

NOTES, QUOTES

--F Hugh Robertson was the only Bull to start all 31 games this season.

--The Bulls used 12 different lineups during the season. The lineup that started the last game was used five times and resulted in five losses.

BY THE NUMBERS: 8 -- The number of assists PG Anthony Crater had the first time USF faced Villanova, the team's first-round opponent in the Big East tournament.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "That's been the story this season. We just can't put together a 40-minute game. When a team goes on a run it seems like we put our heads down and go, 'It's happened before, here we go again.'" -- Senior C Jarrid Famous, after scoring 10 points in his final regular season game for South Florida, a loss at St. John's.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

GAME PREVIEW:

--vs. Cincinnati, Big East tournament second round, New York, March 9

POSTSEASON OUTLOOK: A 15th-place finish in a 16-team league didn't bode well for postseason play for the Bulls, who are trying to put the pieces back together. However they do in the Big East Tournament will figure to be it for this team that is building toward being better by the time it gets into its new basketball facility.

PLAYER NOTES

--G Anthony Crater capped South Florida's big comeback Tuesday when he made the game-winning layup with 5.1 seconds left. Crater finished with six points and seven assists. He has had at least five assists in 14 of 32 games this season.

--G Hugh Robertson came off the bench after starting all 31 regular-season games as coach Stan Heath decided to shake up the lineup. Robertson played 20 minutes and scored six points. The junior had been the only player to start every game this season.

--G Shawn Noriega tied a career high with six three-pointers as he finished with a game-high 22 points. Noreiga made 6 of 12 shots from beyond the arc. He also had six threes against Notre Dame on Feb. 12 when he scored a career-high 23 points.

--Junior F Ron Anderson Jr. closed out the season with his first double-digit scoring performance since Jan. 12, scoring 13 points against Cincinnati. He also had six rebounds, giving him 21 games in which he pulled down five or more boards.

--Junior C Augustus Gilchrist was named to the Big East honor roll last week after scoring 32 points and grabbing eight rebounds in a victory over DePaul.


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