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Bulls rally, fade in loss to ‘Cuse

Published: Thursday, February 23, 2012

Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2012 00:02

 

USF couldn't have asked for a better start to Wednesday's men's basketball game at No. 2 Syracuse, taking control early and then trading scoring runs before ultimately losing 56-48.

The Bulls (17-11, 10-5) quieted the Carrier Dome crowd, quickly jumping out to an 18-5 lead with 9:38 remaining in the first half. The Orange opened the game sluggishly, shooting 2-of-10 from the field early on.

Yet USF's offense hit a wall, closing the first half with zero points in the final 8:53 and trailing 24-20 as Syracuse found its rhythm and started taking control. The Orange ending the half on a 15-0 scoring run.

Syracuse's run extended all the way to 24-0 before the Bulls again found a footing, cutting a 33-20 deficit with 17:25 remaining to a 36-31 deficit with an 11-3 run of their own.

USF cut the deficit to just one point with 6:25  remaining before Syracuse pulled away, easing to a 9-point win.

The loss drops USF back into a tie for fifth place in the Big East with three games remaining in the regular season, beginning Sunday at home against Cincinnati at noon.

— Reporting by Michael Manganello

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