Bulls Beat Alcorn State 69-52 In Home Opener

TAMPA, Fla. – The University of South Florida men's basketball team (1-0) opened the 2005-06 campaign with a 69-52 non-conference victory over Alcorn State (0-1) Friday night at the Sun Dome.

Four South Florida players finished with double figures in points, led by senior James Holmes' 21. Classmate Solomon Jones collected his first career double-double, finishing with 16 points and a personal-best 14 rebounds. Junior forward McHugh Mattis also contributed a double-double, chipping in 11 points and 15 boards in his USF debut.

"I am really proud of the way the guys fought and handled themselves through adversity," head coach Robert McCullum said. "I was really pleased with our rebounding. We had different guys step up at different times."

USF finished with a 45-37 advantage in total rebounds, including a 17-11 margin at the offensive end. Sophomore guard Collin Dennis saw just 14 minutes of action before leaving with an injury and Jones was forced out of the game in the second half because of cramping.

After jumping out to a quick 18-9 advantage, USF saw the Braves battle back to within 22-18 with 7:29 on the clock in the first half. A 9-2 USF run to close the half, which included six points from Mattis, gave the Bulls a 31-20 advantage at the intermission.

The contest remained relatively close through most of the second half, until the Bulls started to pull away with just over six minutes left in regulation. A dunk by Mattis and a layup by Holmes pushed the lead to 11 points and the Bulls would maintain a double-digit margin the rest of the way.

Only seven Bulls saw action in the lidlifter, but three were making their respective USF debuts. M

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