Egbunu Shines in Conference Opening Loss

The Bulls open the season 0-1 in American Athletic Conference play, and fall to 9-5 overall after losing to the 19th ranked Memphis Tigers on New Years Eve.

TAMPA BAY, FL.---Coach Stan Heath and the South Florida Bulls (9-5, 0-1) will enter the new year with it's first American Athletic Conference loss of the season after getting ran out of the Sun Dome by the Memphis Tigers (10-2, 1-0) by the score of 88-73 on Tuesday night.

The Bulls were 0-9 from downtown and shot just 42 percent (22-52) overall for the game. Entering the contest, the Tigers led the conference with 9.9 steals per game, and they met their average with 10 steals tonight, resulting in several transition buckets for Josh Pastner's ball club.

Memphis shot 40 percent (8-20) from three-point range for the night, and had three players with 18 points or more. Guard Geron Johnson recorded 19 points, five steals, four assists and three rebounds, while Joe Jackson had 19 points and five rebounds, going 9-for-10 from the charity stripe as well. Missouri transfer Michael Dixon Jr. also chipped in with 18 points and five assists on 7-of-10 shooting.

For the Bulls, athletic freshman center John Egbunu electrified the crowd with several thunderous dunks to give momentum to carry over to the new year. The 6-foot-10 Fort Walton Beach native had a career night with 20 points, 14 rebounds with a steal, assists and a block.

Victor Rudd struggled from the field, finishing with 17 points on 3-of-12 shooting, but possessed an impressive stroke at the free throw line, going 11-for-16. The Tigers committed 30 personal fouls on the night, but it wasn't enough to push the Bulls over the top.

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