Despite a fever and a sleepless night, point guard Reggie Kohn led USF to victory against TCU 71-67 Tuesday night, to go 10-8 for the season and 3-4 in Conference USA.
“All he does is take our team and put them on his shoulders and carry us to a win, just toughing it out,” said USF coach Seth Greenberg.
Monday night, Kohn was experiencing a high fever and restlessness, causing Greenberg to question his participation in Tuesday night’s game. Although still suffering from the symptoms, Kohn played a solid game, shooting 7-of-12 from the floor while making four of his eight shots from behind the arc, including two that came back-to-back at 16:35 and 16:06. Also padding his stats for the night were five assists, three steals and three rebounds.
“Coming into this game , when the shot was there I didn’t hesitate,” said Kohn. “Once you make a couple, you tend to see a bigger basket or shoot better.”
Despite playing 24 minutes, center Will McDonald had a slow start Tuesday night, picking up two quick fouls in the first half. Because of the foul trouble, McDonald was pulled out six minutes into the game, which limited his contribution to four rebounds and a steal in the first half.
“I was trying to be aggressive and sometimes they (the referees) won’t let me play like that with people that (are) smaller than me,” said McDonald. “They usually let me bang with bigger people but with the smaller people they don’t let me play like that — I’ve got to know when to slack up.”
The slow first half did not stop McDonald from charging the court in the second half. Playing triple the minutes (18) than he did in the first, McDonald picked up nine points and seven rebounds.
Playing a zone defense has been a trend for the Bulls lately and continued to be Tuesday night as they shut down TCU. USF held the Horned Frogs to 35.7 percent shooting from the field and 45.5 percent from behind the arc. More good news for the Bulls is the fact that the zone has not affected McDonald’s rebounding, which can be a downside of playing a zone defense.
“I’m a zone guy,” said Greenberg.
USF led the Frogs 67-62 with 1:12 left on the clock, and with only four fouls, the Bulls decided to foul TCU with 1:00 on the clock and again with 0:47 left in the game. On the possession after the USF foul, the Frogs turned the ball over with 39 seconds left on the clock. This selective fouling allowed the Bulls to burn 33 seconds off the clock without a shot being taken.
“We just wanted to shorten the game, shorten the possessions,” Greenberg said.
Once USF got the ball back at the 39-second mark, TCU fouled guard Brian Swift. he made both of his free throws, bringing the score to 69-62 before getting fouled again with eight seconds left. Swift again sank both of his free throws to keep the Frogs afrom coming back.
Swift’s 4-of-4 free throw shooting Tuesday brought his season’s free throw shooting to 19-for-19. Along with the four points that he made from the line, Swift was able to tack on five points from the field, including a three-pointer and four assists.
“That three he made was huge for him.Iit was huge for us,” said Greenberg.
Other notable USF players included Jimmy Baxter, who was the team’s second-leading scorer Tuesday with 12 points. Baxter also had three steals, a block and an assist. Freshman forward Danny Oglesby played a career high 31 minutes, contributing six points, three assists and two rebounds.
The Bulls have won their last two games at home and hope to make it three after they play Saint Louis on Saturday at the Sun Dome.