As he sat at the end of the bench for almost the entirety of the second half, the scowl that viewers saw up close via WatchESPN on senior forward Victor Rudd’s face fully encapsulated the Bulls’ performance Sunday at Memphis.
USF (10-10, 1-6) was defeated 80-58 by Memphis (15-4, 5-2), marking the second game in a row in which the bulls have lost by more than 20 points and the second time they’ve fallen to Memphis.
USF coach Stan Heath didn’t comment on Rudd’s unusually long benching after the game. Despite this, the Bulls scored 36 points in the second half compared to only 22 in the first.
USF senior guard Martino Brock took over as the scorer and finished with 17 points in his hometown.
The game was 24-22 in Memphis’ favor with 4:15 remaining in the first half, but the Tigers went on a 10-0 run to end the half and the Bulls never mounted a run.
Memphis leaned heavily on its three-point shooting throughout the game, making 10 of its 22 shots from beyond the arc.
The Bulls’ defense was unable to contain Memphis’ shooters in the rout. The Tigers had four players reach double digits in scoring, while the Bulls only had Brock breakout as
The game could have been even more one-sided if the Tigers would have been more efficient from the free throw line. Memphis went 57 percent of their free throws, giving Bulls the chance to hang around.
Even with this opportunity, the Bulls’ defense folded in the second half, giving up 46 points, as Heath experimented with zone defenses, as he has all season.
The Bulls have now lost six of their last seven games and have fallen to the .500 mark for the first time this season.
Their recent stretch of games has included three ranked teams with two games played against Memphis. The Bulls have seemingly passed the hardest part of their schedule.
Coming off this game, the Bulls will travel home to host SMU on a two-day turnaround. USF lost to SMU 71-54 on the road 12 days ago and will try to avoid its fifth straight loss. The game is set for 7 p.m.