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USF looks to snag win on the road

Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 00:01

The Bulls will look for its first conference win tomorrow at 9 p.m. when the next  Big East conference game is taken to New Jersey.

Conference play has been rough for the Bulls so far, especially from an offensive standpoint, and while the offense can’t seem to get things going from anywhere on the court, many other teams haven’t been able to either. The below-average offensive play from the Bulls could be contagious.

Teams in the Big East have shot poorly from the field against the Bulls, averaging 38 percent on USF’s defense. Take No.1 Louisville for example, a team that despite its prestigious ranking is no exception to the numbers.

When the Cardinals beat USF Saturday night, they did so scoring 64 points total — a season low for them since Nov. 22. The Cardinals have the third highest field goal percentage in the Big East with 45 percent, but shot just 38 percent that night.

Shooting at 25 percent, USF sits second to last in the conference in three-point field goal percentages and it’s defense against the three-pointer ranks high in the Big East, allowing just 20 percent shooting from beyond the arch.

USF currently ranks 13th in the NCAA in three-point field goal defense, allowing teams to shoot just 27.9 points on average per game.

While the defense is doing what it can considerably well, help from the offense in conference play has proven to be rare. A defense can only hold a team for so long before scoring is needed. But will the offensive “bug” continue?
USF currently stands alone as the only team without a win in the Big East, but if the Bulls continue to spread its offensive
illness throughout the conference, all that’s necessary is for the Bulls to score — something that is clearly easier said thandone for a struggling USF offense. After the loss to No.1 Louisville, the Bulls will look to change its conference play with a win over the Scarlet Knights.

Despite beating Rutgers in the Sun Dome last season, the Bulls’ last venture to New Jersey ended in a loss.

Rutgers, though its Big East record is split at 2-2 and is coming off of a home loss to Cincinnati, has done a good job of correcting mistakes, as they have not lost two straight games all season.

The Bulls may want to adopt a similar trait.

Out of the three conference games played so far, two of the ulls’ final scores have ranked as their two lowest scores all season and have the lowest scoring offense in the Big East averaging 45 per game.

Though a Big East turnaround can prove to be an uphill battle for the Bulls, a win at Rutgers would make the victory that much more important.

 

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