The Bulls will look to avoid losing 10 straight games when they visit rival UCF for the first time this season tonight.
USF (7-17, 1-10) currently sits at the bottom of the AAC, but UCF hasn’t been much better, sitting at ninth in the conference after dropping its last six games.
Despite the losses piling up over the past two months, coach Orlando Antigua believes the team is headed in the right direction based on its ability to stay in games against top conference teams.
“Every day is an opportunity for us to get better and to work and improve on our skills,” Antigua said. “We just have to keep plugging away, keep working, keep focusing on details, and the results will take care of themselves if we do that.”
Though the Bulls have lost nine straight, they continue to get contributions from senior guard Corey Allen Jr., who was named to the AAC weekly honor roll after averaging 17 points per game over the past week.
In addition to Allen, guard Troy Holston Jr. stepped up in the Bulls’ last game against Cincinnati, scoring 16 points and making four 3-pointers.
The 16 points by the freshman was a career high and the Bulls, who have only shot 30 percent from beyond the arc, would benefit from more consistent production from him as a three-point shooter going forward.
“In the middle of the season, I wasn’t hitting shots after my ankle injury, but now I’m finally playing without conscience and I feel like I can hit shots like I’ve always been doing,” Holston said.
Meanwhile, the Knights have not won since Jan. 14, when they beat Tulane in triple overtime.
UCF (9-13, 2-9) doesn’t have a standout scorer, but its guards have the ability to score from deep. Both B.J. Taylor and Adonys Henriquez, who are freshmen, shoot over 38 percent from three-point range.
Despite the Bulls’ inability to break out of their losing slump, Holston said he thinks the team is close to turning the corner.
“I’m encouraged by the last five games, because of how hard we played and how close we have come to winning, but we just need to close games out better,” Holston said.