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USF looks to end losing streak while on the road

 

For some, it may be hard to believe that just a year ago the USF men’s basketball team was on a four-game winning streak. 

Now, with four games remaining to salvage what is left of the season, the Bulls (10-15, 1-12) hope to start their last stretch of the season on Wednesday night with a win over St. John’s, preventing a ninth straight loss.

St. John’s (15-10, 7-6) will also try to rebound from a loss at No.12 Louisville – the same Cardinals squad that walked into the Sun Dome on Sunday and dominated the Bulls.

The Red Storm managed a slightly more respectable loss to the Top 25 team, losing by 14 while the Bulls were beaten by 18.

St. John’s also suffered a loss the game before at No. 6 Syracuse. 

But the question remains as to whose streak will end.

After displaying their second worst shooting percentage of season from the field last week, going 24 percent, the Bulls look to do something they haven’t done in a while – play a full game.

In the game against Louisville, though they only shot 34 percent from the field, the Bulls went 5-9 from the three-point range. USF followed that by going 0-11 in the second half from deep – not the second half fans were expecting.

This isn’t the first instance where USF was a one-half team.

Going back to their game against No. 18 Marquette on Feb. 6, USF went 42 percent from deep in the first half, shooting 7 percent in the second.

The most notable instance of this inconsistency was probably against No. 21 Notre Dame, in which the Bulls shot for an astonishing 60 percent from the field in the first half and 38 percent in the second half with nearly every other stat dipping along with it.

The key for USF on Wednesday will be shooting – a tough goal to set when facing a St. John’s team that ranks fourth in the Big East in field goal defense, allowing 39 percent per game.

Another focus for the Bulls will be rebounding, something that USF actually excelled in last game.

USF senior forward and FAU transfer Kore White posted nine rebounds against the Big Louisville squad. Senior forward Victor Rudd chipped in with nine of his own that night. 

There have been a few bright spots here and there for USF – freshman guard JaVontae Hawkins has stepped up as of late, averaging 7.4 points per game, and the 7-foot-3 freshman center Jordan Omogbehin has been getting more minutes to help with the size issue.

St. John’s will rely heavily on its sophomore guard D’Angelo Harrison, whose averaged15.8 points in conference season, putting up 18 points in the game at Louisville.

With a 2-7 record on the road, the two-game stint starting at St .Johns will be one of the last chances for the Bulls to prove they can be consistent and that they still have some gas left in the tank.