USF Beats Rutgers 68-45 In BIG EAST Opener

Dominique Jones scored 24 points and Kentrell Gransberry added 20 points and 17 rebounds to lead the University of South Florida past Rutgers, 68-45, in the Big East Conference opener for both teams.

USF (10-4, 1-0) has won 10 of 11. The victory improved the Bulls all-time Big East Conference mark to 5-28.

Anthony Farmer had 14 points and team-leading scorer JR Inman was held to eight points but had 14 rebounds for Rutgers.

USF broke the game open with a 16-3 run, to go up 60-43 with 4 minutes left. Jones had five points, including a 3 during the stretch.

Rutgers (8-6, 0-1) hit just three field goals during the final 11:15 of play.

Rutgers had the rare opportunity to actually take the lead before the game started. Gransberry was called for an indirect technical foul for dunking during warm ups. However, Jaron Griffin missed both free throws he attempted between the introduction of the starting lineups and the opening jump ball.

Gransberry scored 13 points and Jones had nine to help the Bulls take a 30-26 halftime lead. Farmer had eight points, while Inman came off the bench 5 minutes into the game and was held to two first-half points.

The decision not to start Inman was so Rutgers could use a different lineup. Inman played 35 minutes.

Rutgers was without Corey Chandler, who has a right foot injury, for the third consecutive game. The freshman guard is averaging 14.1 points, and is listed as day to day. He has some limited practice time recently.

With the win, it marks the first time since USF entered the BIG EAST three years ago that the Bulls have won their conference opener.


Post Game notes
After dropping the first four meetings in the series, the victory marks the Bulls' second consecutive win against Rutgers, moving the all-time record against the Scarlet Knights to 2-4.

-- The Bulls have now won 10 of 11 games, the school's best streak since the 1990-91 season.
-- The 45 points by Rutgers was a season low scored against the Bulls.
-- The 23-point win differential was the largest that USF has ever posted in BIG EAST conference play.
-- USF held Rutgers to just one free throw made (1-8), the least allowed by the Bulls all season.

-- The 68 points scored is the most ever that the Bulls have posted against Rutgers in the six all-time meetings.   The previous high was 62 on Jan. 24, 2007.

-- Dominique Jones tallied a game-high 24 points, going 9 of 12 from the field, with a career high 5-5 from 3-point range and 1 of 1 from the line.

-- Kentrell Gransberry picked up his seventh double-double of the season, the 19th of his 36 game career at USF, and a season-high 17 rebounds
-- Amu Saaka started in his third straight game. 


Post Game Quotes

USF Head Coach Stan Heath
 "I just want to give our guys a lot of credit, they really defended for 40 minutes well, and we didn't really get it going offensively quite the way we wanted in the first half but we just had to grind it out, but that's typical of BIG EAST basketball."
"(Kentrell) Gransberry was a monster inside dominating the glass. There are a lot of other guys chipping in too.   Good job defensively, that was the biggest thing I was proud of."
Difference in BIG EAST competition:
 "You could just tell there is a premium on possessions.  You got to do it on the defensive and offensive end.   It seems like every possession is more heightened and I thought our guys did a good job of not getting frustrated and sticking to what we were doing and we were able to get a good win."
"We just wanted to go into the game making them take tough shots. If they make them, they make them, but just kind of have to stick to that. For the most part, we did that.   We made them take some guarded shots and we did a heck of a job defending the 3's."
USF Center Kentrell Gransberry
"Every night we have to come out and take every game serious, even the next one at Syracuse.  There are 17 games left and we can't take one off.   We just got to go hard everyday." 
USF Guard Dominique Jones
"I was feeling it and I was getting good looks (from three point range).  I just got

Rutgers Head Coach Fred Hill
 "You can't just hope to hold people in the 40's or 50's all the time.  We've got to score on the other end.   If you don't score, it gets a little tougher to play defense.  They buried the 3's and it got them on a run.  We didn't answer and it kind of snowballed from there."


Game Stats

Rutgers (8-6)
Name FGM-A PF Pts
A Farmer 7-15 1 14
M Coburn 4-8 2 9
J Inman 4-11 1 8
C Nelson 2-8 1 5
J Griffin 2-4 0 4
H N'Diaye 1-4 4 2
E Pettis 1-2 0 2
B Joynes 0-0 3 1
South Florida (10-4)
South Florida
Name FGM-A PF Pts
D Jones 9-12 2 24
K Gransberry 7-17 2 20
J Verdejo 2-5 0 9
O Chin 4-6 1 9
C Howard 1-4 4 2
A Saaka 1-3 0 2
H John 1-3 0 2
S Bozeman 0-3 1 0
M Esseghir 0-0 1 0
Complete Game Stats 

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