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USF Bulls henpecked by Delaware

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The South Florida Bulls left Tampa for their first true road game of the season on Thursday night. They return home nursing the effects of a henpecking.

USF fell to the Delaware Blue Hens, 67-58 at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Delaware. While the Bulls played well in spurts, it was not nearly enough to overcome Delaware’s huge advantage in rebounding and free throw shooting.

Things started well. Roddy Peters scored the first two points less than a minute into the game, but it would be the only lead held by the Bulls all night. Delaware spurted to an 8-point lead, but USF managed to stay within one or two possessions until the Blue Hens scored the final 11 points of the half to take a 33-19 lead into the locker room.

An Angel Nunez dunk got the lead back to single digits early in the second half and an 8-2 Bulls run got them within 41-37 at the 10:00 minute mark. Delaware responded with a 16-3 run of their own, putting USF into a 57-40 hole they could never climb from. Jahmal McMurray’s three-pointer in the closing seconds brought the final margin into single digits.

Peters led the Bulls in scoring with 14 points. He was the only USF player to reach double figures.

Delaware was led by Kory Holden, who scored 23. Marvin King-Davis and Maurice Jeffers had 16 and 13, respectively.

It is rare that a team can shoot 31 percent from the field, give up 11 steals and have 11 shots blocked yet still come out on top, but the Blue Hens pulled it off. They compensated with a 48-34 rebounding advantage, including 16 on the offensive board, leading to several second chance points.

While the Bulls scored six more field goals, Delaware outscored USF from the free throw line, 29-7. They attempted 37 to the Bulls’ 13.  USF was whistled for 27 fouls to Delaware’s 12.

With the loss, South Florida fell to 2-6 on the season. Coach Orlando Antigua must now get his team ready to play the South Carolina in Columbia on Saturday. Tip-off is 4 p.m.

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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