With his family and a crowd of 3,095 cheering, sophomore forward Chris Perry recorded his third career double-double against Jackson State (0-2), leading USF to a 73-64 victory Sunday afternoon in the Sun Dome.
“My mom actually went to (Jackson State), so it just added some inspiration,” Perry said. “I just wanted to play as hard as I could.”
Perry scored a career-high 21 points, as well as 10 rebounds, making 9 of 10 free throws. His mother, Delphinn Stephens, was all smiles after the game.
“I’m a proud Tiger, but an even prouder USF Bull,” she said.
Perry’s family travels about 40 miles from Bartow to see him play.
“Last year, we made all the home games – my mom, my dad, my brother and I – just to be present,” Stephens said. “I think it’s good for him.”
Perry’s family also saw him tie his previous record Friday night when he scored 18 points in USF’s 75-61 win over Flagler.
“(Perry’s) such a presence in the post,” coach Orlando Antigua said. “He’s got great hands. He’s got great touch … He’s got to continue to rebound for us, and if he keeps making those free throws, he’s just a handful. I’m glad he’s on our side.”
The Bulls shot 52.4 percent from the floor, compared to the Tiger’s 39.3 percent.
Tigers guard Dontaveon Robinson was the only Jackson State player to make at least five shots. The sophomore scored 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting to lead the team.
USF (2-0) led 38-31 by halftime, but Jackson State took a 41-40 lead five minutes into the second half. The Bulls then took off on a 25-9 run, gaining a lead they would not yield.
“Think about everything that’s coming at these guys,” Antigua said. “You have a brand new staff, brand new philosophy. They’re all starting to get to know each other. Now you’re putting them in adverse situations, and you don’t know how these young people are going to respond to that. They’ve done an unbelievable job at responding. Now we just have to keep building.”
The Bulls can continue building against the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Thursday at