Detroit Beats South Florida 65-60
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A computer malfunction left the South Florida Bulls and Detroit Titans on a darkened court following pregame introductions Saturday night.
Following the 20-minute delay, neither team could have been accused of shooting the lights out during a 65-60 victory for the Titans.
Juwan Howard Jr. and Jarod Williams each had 12 points to lead Detroit (4-4). Evan Bruinsma added 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds, and freshman Matthew Grant hit a pair of free throws with 9.8 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
Detroit made only 32.8 percent of its shots from the floor (19 for 58). In contrast, the Titans converted 25 of 28 free-throw attempts and further compensated with a 44-35 rebounding advantage and a 20-12 edge on second-chance opportunities.
“Our free-throw shooting was the difference in the game,” Detroit coach Ray McCallum said.
Martino Brock scored a season-high 16 points, and Victor Rudd had 11 and nine rebounds for South Florida (4-2). The pair missed hurried 3-point attempts with an opportunity to tie the score at 60 with a half-minute to play.
“I thought it was a desperation three,” Brock said. “If I would have recognized time and looked up, I definitely would have made it to the hole.”
“I think I made terrible decisions down the stretch. I think I shot two bad threes that I should have both drove, because my drive was working for me tonight.”
South Florida, which connected on 46.4 percent of its shots en route to a 31-23 halftime advantage, shot 38.2 percent overall (21 for 55).
The Bulls started and finished strong in the opening half, scoring the first eight points of the game and entering the break on a 13-4 run. The Titans missed their first six shots and 12 of 14, but managed to take the lead twice before the late USF surge.
In the second half, Detroit took control early and moved ahead for good at 38-36 on a shot from long range by Anton Wilson at the 6:20 mark.
Rudd blamed himself for not doing enough during the second-half collapse, when the Bulls connected on less than 30 percent of their shots from the floor.
“I had two or three turnovers and they came back and capitalized off that,” Rudd said. “I put the game on me. I’m supposed to come out stronger than that. They gave me the ball at the beginning of the half, and I’m supposed to deliver for my team.”
South Florida coach Stan Heath hopes his team, coming off a 26-point loss to No. 5 Oklahoma State after four victories to start the season, will not dwell on this defeat.
“I think most teams around the country face a loss that kind of stings you,” Heath said. “Between the last two games – you have one team that’s a powerhouse that kind of got us pretty good and the other team that has been struggling, they got us, too. If that doesn’t send a message, I don’t know what does.”
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