It was a step back for the Bulls, who had thrown scares into West Virginia and Syracuse in the team's two previous league games. The Red Storm entered the game winless, but shut down South Florida from the opening tip and ran away with an 11-0 run to end the half.
The Bulls were terrible offensively against St. John's. South Florida made just one of its 15 three-point attempts. Solomon Jones scored 17 points and McHugh Mattis 15, but the rest of the team was 5-of-35 from the field.
South Florida now has lost its last five games, including a Dec. 28 defeat at the hands of Bethune-Cookman. Not a great sign heading into this week's two-game road trip.
Notes and Quotes:
--Chris Capko has played 36, 38 and 28 minutes over the past three games. He has scored a total of three points over that span.
--In somewhat of a rare occasion for the Bulls, nobody played 40 minutes against Syracuse. Of course, four starters played 38 minutes or more, with reserve McHugh Mattis playing 31.
--One positive against St. John's was that USF did a better job taking care of the basketball. The Bulls had 14 turnovers against the Red Storm, the first time in three Big East games that the team had fewer than 20.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "This definitely was a step back. We didn't come out with any intensity to win tonight. Adversity set in and we slack down. We need to find a way to fight through adversity." -- Senior center Solomon Jones after the team's loss to St. John's.
PLAYER ROTATION: Usual Starters -- G Chris Capko, G James Holmes, F Melvin Buckley, F Melvyn Richardson, C Solomon Jones. Key Subs -- G/F McHugh Mattis, G Collin Dennis.
St. John's 68, South Florida 49
KEYS: South Florida needs to regroup in a hurry. The home loss to St. John's may be discouraging, but neither Georgetown nor Seton Hall are unbeatable if the Bulls play to their potential.
--G Collin Dennis made his first appearance since Nov. 29 as he came back from an injured Achilles tendon. He finished with four points and four fouls in 19 minutes.
--G James Holmes had a tough night against St. John's. Hounded all evening by Daryll Hill, he made just one of his 14 shots.