Midway through the first half, coach Stan Heath subbed in a player whom Bulls fans have been anxiously waiting to see, junior point guard Anthony Collins.
The pre-season All American AAC point guard played 26 minutes in his first return from knee surgery. Collins has suffered several setbacks regarding the swelling and tenderness of his knee, but his appearance Friday night at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green Ohio was an encouraging sign for his health. Collins helped USF (3-0) defeat BGU (1-1) by a score of 75-61.
Collins showed he was a little rusty, committing a turnover just a minute after coming into the game, but he wasted no time in getting back to form recording seven points and five assists in his 26 minute.
Though he is used to playing more minutes, he actually played more than Heath was planning on.
“I thought he was going to play 10 minutes,” Heath said.
Collins’ return was a positive sign for the Bulls, but the key contributors Friday night were Junior Corey Allen Jr. and Freshman John Egbunu.
Allen Jr. has been Collins’ replacement during his absence and has been playing better every game.
Friday night Allen Jr. contributed 19 points and seven rebounds while playing all but three minutes of the game.
“Corey Allen throughout the game was just bringing it,” Heath said. “He was generating that pace.”
The Bulls shot a season high 58.7 percent from the field during the game, and Heath believes it was possible because of the strong defense. Egbunu played particularly well on defense for the Bulls, with four of the team’s seven blocks.
“John Egbunu had a coming out party,” Heath said. “He was strong inside, rebounding, blocking shots and blocking up the paint. I thought our defense fueled our offense which helped us shoot a high percentage.”
Last year, the Bulls defeated Bowling Green in triple overtime 87-84, but this year the defense had a much better showing and were able to win by double digits in regulation. This win marked Heath’s 200th career win
USF will host Stetson next at 7 p.m. as the Bulls will look to increase their winning streak to four games.