Defending Champ Uconn Silences USF Crowd

Despite playing in front of a jam packed Sun Dome, USF could not overcome Amida Brimah and Uconn's defense in the 2nd half.

There is good reason as to why Kevin Ollie’s Uconn Huskies (8-5, 1-1) are college basketball’s defending national champions. They certainly displayed that champion pedigree Tuesday night, as a dominant second half performance lifted them to an easy 58-44 victory over USF (7-9, 1-2).

Playing in front 6,128 fans, the largest attendance for a Bulls home game this season, Orlando Antigua’s young team provided enough energy and effort early in the 1st half to draw excitement from the packed house of Bulls faithful. The first half charge was led by usual suspect Chris Perry, who dominated on the glass, and Bo Zeigler, who once again made a tremendous impact off the bench, scoring 6 points while snatching two boards in the first period. USF’s switch to a 2-3 zone on defense effectively neutralized Uconn standouts Daniel Hamilton and potential player of the year candidate Ryan Boatright. A close back and forth affair led to the Bulls trailing by only four to the defending champs at the end of the half.

The second half told a totally different story as Uconn was able to make the necessary adjustments to drain the energy right out of USF and their fans. The Huskies dashed out to a 15-4 run within the first seven minutes of the second half and never looked back. Boatright, the AAC’s leading scorer, made a decent contribution through racking up 10 points and 3 assists, but it was the play of big Amida Brimah that made the difference for Uconn. The 7 foot sophomore out of Ghana recorded 13 points, 8 rebounds, 6 blocks, and helped charge a Husky defense that helped hold the Bulls to a meager 31.8% from the field in the second half. Afterwards, Corey Allen Jr. described the difference between the two halves being energy. “We just came out flat in the second half. We can’t do that moving forward,” Allen said after the game.

The Bulls will now focus their attention towards Sunday, where they will travel to New Orleans to take on Tulane at 3 pm on ESPN3.

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