January 3rd against East Carolina was the last time Orlando Antigua’s USF Bulls (7-18, 1-11) secured a tally in the win column. In the thirty-nine days since, a combination of injuries and inexperience have yanked South Florida down to last place in the American Athletic Conference, with the latest loss coming at rival UCF (10-13, 3-9) on Wednesday night by a final score of 73-62. The loss marks the Bulls’ tenth straight of the season and is the first ten game losing streak by a USF team since the 2012-13 regular season.
Injuries and an all-around poor shooting performance was made the difference in the Bulls suffering yet another loss on Wednesday night. USF shot only 35% from the field throughout the contest, while going a dismal four for twenty-one from beyond the arc. Despite missing a portion of the first half with a tweaked ankle, the American’s second leading scorer Corey Allen Jr. led the way for the Bulls with 15 points. However, his aforementioned absence due to injury was immediately felt and capitalized on by UCF. The Knights were able to rip off a 16-1 over the span of four minutes and established a comfortable lead that was never in jeopardy for the rest of the night. Subbing in for the banged up Allen Jr., Dinero Mercurius provided 10 points and 7 rebounds off the bench before fouling out. Also starting in place of ailing Nehemias Morillo for the second consecutive game, freshman Troy Holston Jr. once again contributed nicely with 14 points and 3 rebounds. But as has been for the past month and a half, these efforts were not enough to lift the Bulls into the win column.
Looking to break their own six game losing streak, Central Florida received a much needed boost off the bench from Kasey Wilson. The senior forward picked up a double-double in the home victory, racking up 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks. His performance alongside the 29 combined points of B.J. Taylor and Staphon Blair was just enough to lift the Knights to a much needed victory over their archrival.
For Coach Antigua and his Bulls, the next opportunity for victory will come at home on Saturday as they host Memphis at noon on ESPNU.