USF (6-11, 0-4) at Seton Hall (11-6, 1-3)
When: Tonight, 7
Where: Continental Airlines Arena
TV/Radio: Bright House 47, None
The story: The men’s basketball team will once again try to earn its first Big East win tonight. The Bulls take on the Seton Hall Pirates, who have lost three straight conference games. Seton Hall’s only win in the Big East has come against St. John’s, which is the only Big East team to beat the Bulls by double digits this season. The other three Bulls losses in the Big East to Syracuse, West Virginia and Georgetown were by a combined total of 13 points.
“We just got to find a way in the last few minutes,” junior guard Chris Capko said. “We got to execute better down the stretch.”
The Bulls are coming off a 50-47 loss to Georgetown in which senior Solomon Jones recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Turnovers have been a problem for the Bulls all season. The Bulls have the worst turnover margin in the Big East with -4.29. Capko had three games in which he has handed the basketball over to opposition eight or more times, while he averages 4.9 turnovers a game.
Tonight’s game is the first-ever meeting between USF and Seton Hall. The game is also the first of two games in which the Bulls will play the Pirates this season. Seton Hall comes to Tampa on Feb. 8.
Keep an eye on: Seton Hall freshman Paul Gause and senior guard Donald Copeland. Gause is coming off a career-high 13 points in the Pirate’s loss to No. 7 Villanova and has seen more playing time during Big East competition then he did during Seton Hall’s non-conference schedule. The Pirates are led in scoring by Copeland, who averages 15.3 points a game.
– Tyler Crane