The new year remains unkind to the Bulls, as USF fell 82-67 to the Tulane Green Wave in the third game of the Murry Bartow era.
In their first game at the Sun Dome under Bartow, who was named interim coach after the dismissal of Orlando Antigua, the Bulls (6-9,0-4) fell behind early after the Green Wave (4-12, 1-3) raced out to an early 11-2 lead in the game’s first three and a half minutes.
“It’s obvious, but you want to get out to a quick start,” Bartow said.“We’ve had good preparation coming in, and it was disappointing obviously getting down 11-2 before I could settle down in my chair.
It’s a long game and you don’t want to overreact, but we had a lot of work to do.”
Tulane allowed the Bulls to climb back in to the game at the foul line, with USF going 9-of-12 on free throws in the first half.
Bulls’ guard Troy Holston put USF back on top 45-44 with 15:24 to go in the second half, but that would be as close as the Bulls would come to their first AAC victory of the season.
From that point, the Green Wave went on a 13-4 run that ultimately served as the breaking point for USF on its way to the 15-point loss.
“I’m disappointed,” Bartow said.“I really thought that SMU game we competed and fought. Tonight, we just didn’t have quite the same zip.”
For junior guard Geno Thorpe, USF’s 14 turnovers in the second half is what ultimately did the Bulls in.
“It was turning the ball over that was killing us,” Thorpe said.“We couldn’t get ourselves in a rhythm, a couple made shots here and then we’d turn it over. It was really about turning the ball over, we should have taken better care of the ball.”
As the only remaining team in the AAC without a win in conference play, USF will travel to Memphis on Jan. 14 and UCF on Jan. 17 in hopes of finding its first win against an AAC opponent.