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Chris Perry enjoys productive return in USF’s exhibition win

USF junior forward Chris Perry goes up for a shot in the first half of the Bulls’ 78-64 win over Eckerd College in an exhibition game 

Chris Perry is back. 

The junior forward quieted any doubts about his return after missing the final 13 games of this past season with a heart ailment by scoring a game-high 16 points in USF’s 78-64 exhibition win over Division II Eckerd College on Monday night

“The jitters before the game weren’t as bad this go around since I had Jaleel (Cousins) and Bo (Zeigler) in the starting lineup with me,” Perry said. “So I think that was the biggest part of being comfortable.”

Perry also added nine rebounds in 25 minutes of playing time.

“We put a lot of work in over the summer, because we saw a lot of improvements that needed to be made from last year,” Perry said. “It looks pretty good so far.”

The Bulls’ first points came from a Cousins dunk, fed by Perry. Perry later added one of his own.

Perry said it felt good to be back, but coach Orlando Antigua still saw room for improvement. 

“Today, he looked at the bench the one time and wanted to sub, and I said, ‘No, no, you have to stay out there. You have to push through,” Antigua said. “But I thought he did great.”

Cousins, a senior, scored 14 points while going 4 of 4 from the floor and 6 of 6 from the free-throw line in 23 minutes.

Three Bulls saw minutes for the first time at USF. Freshman point guard Jahmal McMurray, Gonzaga transfer Angel Nunez and Maryland transfer Roddy Peters combined for 31 points.

USF shot 53 percent overall  (28 for 52). Eckerd shot 32 percent.

The Bulls open the regular season against Troy on Friday at 8:30 p.m. at home.