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Heath counting on consistency

If the Bulls win against Providence (14-9, 6-5) tonight at 7 at the Sun Dome, they will have the most Big East wins in a single season for South Florida.

Coach Stan Heath said the Bulls should be able to do that as long as they get consistency from the bench and their role players.

“I thought (freshman) Justin Leemow’s defense was much better and is improving,” he said, of Friday’s 57-56 win over Marquette. “I also thought (junior) Alex Rivas really came along tough and physical around the glass, and he held his own defensively as well.”

Rivas had nine rebounds while Leemow helped force nine turnovers. The Bulls will look for another good defensive effort tonight against the Friars.

“We’re really focused on Providence because its three-point shooting is a major weapon,” Heath said. “We have to be prepared to handle their zone, as well.”

Friars junior guard Sharaud Curry is 12th in the Big East in three-point percentage, averaging 38 percent on the year. Heath said he’s concerned about the Friars’ post players, too.

“Providence has some size and (Rivas) will have his hands full,” he said. “Both of their guys are more offensive-minded.”

USF senior guard Jesus Verdejo, boosted the Bulls’ offense with a 21-point performance Friday.

“It makes a huge difference when Jesus is playing well, and there’s no hiding that fact,” Heath said.

If South Florida breaks its conference win record tonight, Heath said its fans will be a big part of that.

“We want to get as many wins in this league as we can, and we also want to get to the point where our home court is sacred,” he said. “We want to be able to fight and defend our home court.”