Coming off its longest break since beginning conference play, the USF men’s basketball team fell flat Saturday morning atNo. 14 Georgetown, losing75-45 after an ugly performance throughout.
The sluggish Bulls (13-10, 6-4) seemingly sleepwalked through the majority of their game against the Hoyas, losing by 30 points, their largest marginof defeat since joining the Big East in 2005.
A USF team that has struggled to a 2-9 road record this seasondidn’t seem to be awake for theunusual 11 a.m. tipoff, at one pointturning the ball over on9 consecutive possessions.
“Today just wasn’t our day,” coach Stan Heath said. “I don’t know what it was. Early start, late start, I don’t know. It wasn’t our day. This wasn’t our typical team.”
The Hoyas looked strongdefensively from start to finish,holding the Bulls without asingle point for nearly 11 minutesin the first half, from the15:08 mark to the 4:24 mark.Fifteen minutes into the game,USF had only scored five points.
Despite the offensive struggles,USF’s defense – which enteredthe game as the best scoringdefense in the conference – was in rhythm throughout the first half,holding the Hoyas scoreless for long stretches and limiting Georgetown (18-4, 8-3) to anarrow halftime lead, 23-18.
That defensive rhythm didn’t make it out of the locker rooms at halftime, with the Hoyasembarking on a 16-4 run tobegin the second half, taking clearcontrol of the game and cruising to their fifth win in six games.
Senior forward AugustusGilchrist was the only Bull with adouble-digit scoring output, scoring 15 points on 5-of-11shooting. One of the onlyother statistics that the Bulls earned double figures in were turnovers, with 17 for the game, four more than their season average.
“(Turnovers have been) our recipe for lack of success,” Heath said. “We did the same thingagainst Marquette. We had 22 inthat game. When we’ve hadlosses, that’s typically the magicnumber that sticks out for us.”
USF now returns to the TampaBay Times Forum, where they are11-1 at home, to host Pittsburghon Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The resurgent Panthers(15-9, 4-7) have won four straight games since opening Big Eastplay 0-7.