USF loses in close game at UConn
Published: Monday, February 4, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 4, 2013 01:02
A 12-point lead in the first half is what the Bulls had on Sunday on the road at Connecticut, in what ended with a 69-64 overtime loss for USF.
Since the lead to end an impressive first half, the largest lead that the Bulls (10-11,1-8) were able to earn the rest of the night was four points.
Tied at 52 heading into overtime, a Bulls team that started the game so well, couldn’t mirror that start.
Huskies (15-5,5-3) junior guard Shabazz Napier got things going to start the extra period of play with three straight three pointers, USF responded with two missed threes.
Eventually USF junior forward Victor Rudd gave the Bulls some life with a dunk and a pair of free throws, bringing USF within five points with 1:25 minutes to go in the game.
Apart from USF junior guard Jawanza Poland going 1-of-2 from the free throw line with 50 seconds left and trailing 57-63, Poland and Rudd managed to only sink one basket apiece for the remainder of overtime.
The scoring was sporadic for USF in overtime and UConn took advantage.
USF senior forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, with eight seconds left, put up one last three.
Though the ball found the net, solidifying Fitzpatrick’s double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds, it was only enough to make the final score a little more respectable.
With USF outshooting the Huskies in the first half, 35.7 percent to 18.5 percent, Fitzpatrick and Poland being the cause of that with 13 combined points and half of the Bulls’ 22 rebounds, it wasn’t until after halftime that UConn found a way to pull itself back into the game.
Down 27-15 at the half, it was the Bulls’ slow start that helped the Huskies regain some life.
Though it seemed the Huskies were running away with the second half, the Bulls kept swinging.
Down 52-50 with 12 seconds left, senior guard Anthony Collins drove it the basket and tied the game with a lay-up. UConn responded with a missed three by Napier, causing the overtime period and the first overtime loss in the Big East for the Bulls.
USF will come back to the Sun Dome Wednesday night when they play Marquette at 7 p.m.