In its third straight Big East loss, scoring and rebounding were twoweaknesses among many that were fully exposed for the mens basketball team as it fell by almost 30 points to No. 3 Louisville in a 64-38 game Saturday afternoon.
The Bulls (9-6, 0-3),struggled from the tipoff as the Cardinals (15-1, 3-0) jumped to a crushing 19-3 lead halfway through the first period,
helping Louisville gain their 10th straight win.
The Cardinals defense showed up to play as well against a USF squad that couldnt seem to get the ball rolling in the Big East.Louisville left littleopportunity for the Bulls offense to getgoing, as they couldnt find a way to score into doublefigures until there was 5:45 left in the first half.
With the energy of the team questioned by USF coach Stan Heath after last weeks home loss to Villanova, Saturdaysperformance may bring up a similar question with the Bulls heading deeper intoconference play.
Shooting 26.7 percent on the night, USF totaled 38 points in the game a season low for the Bulls and what theCardinals had at halftime.
Scoring in the paint also proved difficult for USF as the Cardinals put up 36 points, something that the Bulls found hard to match with only 14.
Coming out of the locker room at halftime, something needed to click for the Bulls and thatsomething never happened.
Even USF junior forwardVictor Rudd, who seems to shineeven during poor teamperformances, was held to just10 points for the night as the Bulls leading scorer. Rudd, however,didnt reach double digits until he made a jumper with six secondsleft in the game.
While the shootingperformance was wellbelow average, USF alsostruggled from the line. Aside from freshman guard Javontae Hawkins who went 4-4 in free throws, the Bulls as a whole shot 52.4 percentto Louisvilles 88.2 percent. Hawkins finished as USFssecond leadscorer with nine points.
Rebounding, as it has been for USF, was another issue for the Bulls as the rebound difference between the two teams wasstaggering. Louisville ended up with 49 rebounds to the Bulls 24.
At this point in the season, starting off the conferenceseason at 0-3 in the Big East, a turnaround for the Bulls is a must. The Bulls will have plenty to learn from this week given that Louisville exposed every weakness that USF could have.
A win on the road atRutgers Thursday night maybe the momentum boost that USF needs. After its game in New Jersey, the Bulls will
head back to the Sun Dome just three days later against Georgetown.