Liberty’s scouting report listed the top 10 USF players it had to prepare for in its matchup with the Bulls. Sophomore guard Mike Burwell wasn’t one of them, said Liberty coach Dale Layer.
Burwell, who started in place of an injured Anthony Crater, had a career night, scoring 15 points on 5-of-7 from 3-point range to help the Bulls to a 60-43 win against Liberty at the Sun Dome on Tuesday night.
“I don’t know where he’s been, I don’t know what shooting drill he’s been working on,” Layer said. “But all of it was very, very helpful and effective for the Bulls.”
The Bulls jumped out to leads of 15-5 and 29-10 in the first half and extended their lead to as many as 24 points in the second.
Burwell, who played a total of eight minutes in USF’s first four games, connected on his first three 3-point attempts to help the Bulls take a commanding 35-20 lead into halftime.
“Coach just kept telling me, ‘Just be prepared,'” Burwell said. “So I came out here and just wanted to play hard and get the team in the offense.”
With Crater, who coach Stan Heath said tweaked his ankle in practice and is questionable for this weekend’s games, sidelined, it was the type of performance that gave Heath confidence in another point guard.
“Give Mike Burwell credit,” Heath said. “That’s pretty good. He earned his keep tonight.”
Redshirt junior Ron Anderson Jr. tied a school record with 15 rebounds in the first half. He finished with 17 for the game.
The Bulls travel to South Padre Island to face BYU on Friday and either St. Mary’s or Texas Tech on Saturday.