Bulls look to bounce back against Villanova at home
Published: Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 00:01
The Bulls (9-4, 0-1) started Big East conference play on Sunday with an 11-point loss to No.7 Syracuse, but tomorrow night at 8 p.m. the men’s basketball team will look to bounce back as they face the Villanova Wildcats (10-4,1-0).
A win on Wednesday could swing momentum in USF’s direction as it faces a team with plenty.
The Wildcats are on the verge of its longest streak in a year, heading into Tampa looking for a seventh consecutive win.
While Villanova may seem like a favorite, USF has been the victor in the last four meetings between the two teams.
But “victor” isn’t just another word for winner to the team whose junior forward Victor Rudd is coming off of an impressive performance in Sunday’s game against Syracuse, despite the loss. Rudd posted his second-straight double-double, his fourth of the season, with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
In out-of-conference-play Rudd stands at No. 1 among Big East players in defensive rebounds.
Rudd and the team will need to match the high-scoring Villanova offense that put up 98 points in an overtime victory over St. Johns.
Though the Bulls may have lost to the Orange, holding the No. 7 team in the nation to 55 points could be seen as a small victory and the defense could prove its worth even more in the upcoming matchup.
Defense aside, the overall struggle on Sunday cannot be ignored. USF’s offense shot for less than 50 percent in both halves of play against the Orange.
It’s clear that offensive improvement is needed if the Bulls hope to snag their first conference win of the season.
A turnaround for the Bulls could mean much more than a record of 1-1 in the Big East, but it could also add excitement
to USF basketball as the Bulls get deeper into conference play.
Tomorrow’s game comes before a two-game road stretch that will have the Bulls playing at Louisville and Rutgers.