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Temple ends USF’s season with convincing victory

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The South Florida Bulls saw their season come to an end on Friday with a 79-62 loss to the Temple Owls in the quarterfinals of the American Conference Tournament. Temple was in control for most of the game played at the Amway Center in Orlando.Am

Temple, the tournament’s top seed, jumped out to a double-digit lead midway through the first half. They held a 35-27 advantage heading into the halftime locker room.

Chris Perry scored the first basket of the second half for USF, bringing them within 35-29, but it went downhill from there. Devin Coleman hit three-pointer with 12 minutes remaining to push Temple’s lead to 56-36. The Bulls would get no closer than 15 points the rest of the way.

After a stellar, double-double performance against East Carolina on Thursday, Angel Nunez was held to two points. The only Bulls starter to score in double figures was Jahmal McMurray, who scored 16 points.

Perry had 19 points off the bench and Jaleel Cousins had 11, also in a non-starting role. The Bulls’ bench players scored 30 points and the starters only 32.

Jaylen Bond led a balanced Temple attack with 17 points. Quenton DeCosey added 14. Five Owls’ players scored in double figures.

“Really sad that the season is over,” said Bulls’ Coach Orlando Antigua. “I got to give Temple a lot of credit. They did what they do, they take care of the ball.”

The Bulls finished 8-25, but injuries had something to do with that. Everyone will have until October to heal.
Temple moves on to the semi-finals on Saturday, when they will face a very tired Connecticut Huskies team. The Huskies survived the game of the year in the American Conference, or any other conference, with a 104-97 victory in four overtimes.

Cincinnati had the game won, 88-85 with 0.8 seconds remaining in the third overtime, but UConn’s Jalen Adams banked in a miracle three-pointer from beyond half court. The Huskies dominated the fourth overtime.

Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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