USF Continues Home Court Success With Blowout Win Over Tulane

By Tyler McConnell

TAMPA, Fla. (Jan 9, 2019)- Last year, the University of South Florida men’s basketball team won seven home games. On Wednesday night, The Bulls earned their seventh straight home win and tenth overall this season with a 66-48 triumph over Tulane University. The win gives USF their most wins in a season since 2013-14.

The Green Wave normally provide a challenge for the Bulls, who had dropped four straight at home against them. This time The Bulls who prove right out of the gate they wouldn’t suffer the same fate.

 The game swung in favor of The Bulls early, as they jumped out to a 12-5 lead seven minutes in. The lead would stretch to as high as 14 with just under seven minutes to play in the first half. USF took advantage of Tulane mistakes, scoring 17 points off 15 first half turnovers. Despite Tulane closing the gap to 34-26 at halftime, USF was never in jeopardy.

The trio of David Collins, Laquincy Rideau and Mayan Kiir combined for 12 steals. Tulane’s turnover woes continued throughout the night, as they finished the game with 26. The offensive production from proved to be too much for Tulane, who lost their first game against USF in Tampa since 2005. USF shot 43 percent from the field and scored 34 points in the paint.

Redshirt freshman Alexis Yetna led the way for USF with 15 points and 11 rebounds, his eighth double-double on the year. Head coach Brian Gregory is still expecting more out of his star freshman.

 “You guys know I love Lex [Alexis] but I didn’t think he played as well as he’s capable tonight, but he gets a double-double,” Gregory said. “He’s working on his game and you can see his skill developing.”

Yetna’s abilities show up on the stat sheet. His eight double-doubles rank first in the American Athletic Conference. Even he acknowledged what his coach said, it could’ve been a better night for him.

 “I didn’t think I played a good game still, I got four turnovers, way too much,” Yetna said. “I just try to go back out and try to go hard.”

 Yetna’s play tonight showed where USF as a program is. The Bulls, though not perfect, continue to find ways to grind out wins and play their opponents tough, win or lose. Their 2-1 start in AAC play is their best start in conference play since they joined the league in 2013-14. Their style of tough, physical play will make it difficult for any team to keep them down. The win improves USF to 12-3 overall, while Tulane falls to 4-11.

 WHAT’S NEXT

The USF Bulls will travel for a huge showdown in Philadelphia with the 12-3 Temple Owls on January 12

The Tulane Green Wave will return home to take on the Memphis Tigers on January 13

 

 

 

 

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Injury Depleted USF Suffers Setback in 13-Point Loss to Rival UCF

By Tyler McConnell

TAMPA, Fla. (Jan 8, 2019)- An injury plagued University of South Florida women’s basketball team could not overcome their 22 turnovers in a 62-49 loss to the University of Central Florida in the War On I-4 at the Yuengling Center on Tuesday night. The Knights, who came into Tampa with a program best 12-2 start, took advantage of USF mistakes with 29 points off turnovers. The loss was USF’s first loss to their rival since February 14, 2017. The Bulls’ 14-game home winning-streak, which dated back to last season, was also snapped. The game was a battle from the start, with The Bulls missing leading scorer Laura Ferreira. USF would enter Tuesday night with just nine healthy players on its roster.

The Bulls opened the game with some early momentum, building a 7-3 lead early in the first quarter. The Knights, paced by junior guard Kay Kay Wright, would close the first quarter with an 18-15 lead. Wright finished the night with 20 points, which led all scorers in the game. The Bulls would battle back with a 13-point second quarter to make it a one-point game at halftime. Freshman Sydni Harvey kept USF in it with 10 points in the first half. She would finish the night with 12 points. The second half saw the Knights outscore the Bulls 33-21, with 45 percent shooting in the third and 44 percent in the fourth. USF closed the gap to just two with less than five minutes remaining, but UCF finished the night on a 12-1 run to end the home team’s hopes of a comeback. USF head coach Jose Fernandez pointed to unforced turnovers as the biggest problem of the night.

“I think the biggest stat of the night was our unforced turnovers and points off turnovers,” Fernandez said. “It was 29 to 10.”

Fernandez felt that USF made plays in transition and did a good job on the glass but noted that the team wore out by the end of the night. The Bulls were able to win the rebound battle 42-36, but their 22 turnovers made it difficult to take advantage of opportunities.

“We got a lot of good looks but if you shoot 28 percent from the floor you’re not going to beat many people,” Fernandez said. “We got the ball where we wanted to get it to but we had a hard time converting.”

One player who did convert her opportunities for USF was Enna Pehadzic. The sophomore guard recorded her second career double-double with a team high 16 points and 10 boards. She hit four field goals and four three-pointers. She was proud of how the team battled through the adversity of having three of its best players out.

“I’m proud of the team and how we kept fighting and fighting and fighting,” Pehadzic said. “Offensively we sometimes we didn’t knock down shots but I’m proud of the way we defended and stuck together.”

The win pushes UCF to 13-2 overall and 2-0 in American Athletic Conference play. They continue to build momentum after winning their most games in non-conference play since 1985-86. The loss drops USF to 10-6 and 1-1 in AAC play, their first .500 start in league play since the 2013-14 season.

WHAT’S NEXT

The USF Bulls (10-6) will travel to Storrs, Connecticut to take on the third-ranked University of Connecticut on January 13.

The UCF Knights (13-2) will return home to face the University of Cincinnati on January 13

 

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Bulls Radio boasts a large repertoire of unique programming because of its contributors – the talented staff and volunteers that hold complete creative control of Bulls Radio. Our constant stream of unique programming reaches listeners from each USF campus, all over Tampa Bay, and even around the world!

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USF Men's Basketball Rallies Past Fairleigh Dickinson to Improve to 10-2

By Will Turner

TAMPA – Last season, the USF Bulls went 10-22 in men’s basketball in the first year with Brian Gregory at the helm.

 

It’s not even January 1 and the Bulls have met that mark in the 18-19 campaign. USF became just the sixth team in school history to win ten of its first twelve games with a gritty, 60-54, victory over Fairleigh Dickinson (NJ) in front of an announced crowd of 2,945 on Saturday afternoon at the Yuengling Center.

 

“In a long season, you have games where you end up winning and you don’t feel great about it, but as a coach, and with where we’re at with this program, we’re happy with every win,” said men’s basketball head coach Brian Gregory.

 

The Bulls started things on a 10-0 run, which included a pair of exclamation-point blocks from David Collins and Alexis Yetna on the defensive end to keep the Knights scoreless through the first four minutes.

 

USF extended its lead to 15 through the first seven minutes. It controlled the pace and played dominating defense to keep the Northeastern Conference opponent contained.

 

“Probably those first 15 minutes were the best that we’ve played all season long,” Gregory said.

 

Thanks in part to 63 percent field goal shooting, USF held a 17-point lead midway through the first half.

 

Good shooting from the field has been the hallmark of this USF team during its first 12 games. It’s not just about the talent, either, it’s about the basketball IQ with the plays that some of the younger guys are making.

 

“One of the big differences in our team this year, throughout a game we may take only one or two bad shots. Last year, it was 10-15 bad shots,” Gregory said.

 

FDU stormed back in the first half, turning things around in the final five minutes, trimming USF’s lead to 10 off of a layup from Darnell Edge.

 

The Bulls were never really able to close out the Knights on Saturday, allowing them to hang around. Although USF led for 33 minutes, that stat alone did not tell the whole story. A couple of missed opportunities allowed for FDU to get back into it. Mayan Kiir almost had a statement one-handed dunk to go but was called for a travelling violation.

 

On the other end, the Knights rode a 15-0 run of its own which included three three-pointers from Kaleb Bishop to get FDU within one. Edge netted a pair of free throws and then converted a fast break layup to give the Knights their first lead of the afternoon, 46-43.

 

USF stormed back with a quick five-point run including a three-pointer from Justin Brown and a pair of Yetna free throws. Brown’s bucket was the first for USF in over seven minutes during one of the most critical stretches of the game.

 

Yetna grabbed his second straight double-double, his sixth on the season midway through the second half in what turned out to be another brilliant performance. The redshirt freshman from Paris finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds, allowing him to maintain his double-double average in both categories.

 

The American Athletic Conference’s back-to-back freshman of the week has developed into quite the threat for the Bulls in the early-going.

 

“He just plays hard on every single play,” Gregory said. “He thinks that every single rebound should be his, so now I get ticked off when he doesn’t get it. He’s shooting the ball better, Lex has a nose for the ball. I’d like to say that we taught him that, but we didn’t. He’s got a knack for that. I’m pleased with his development through the first 12 games,” Gregory said.

 

FDU retook the lead with an all-too-easy dunk from Mike Holloway Jr. just short of five minutes to play. That 52-51 lead would be short-lived when Laquincy Rideau hit a game-tying field goal, followed up a minute later with a pair of free throws from Collins.

 

The hosts lived off of those free throws, not getting a bucket from the field in the final seven minutes of play.

 

Edge hit a game-tying field goal with 1:25 to play. On the next possession, Brown pulled down a huge offensive rebound off a missed three-point shot from Collins, then doing the same thing, 20 seconds later off a missed shot from Rideau.

 

“I realized that my man wasn’t boxing out – he wasn’t boxing out the whole game – I was just able to get into the right positions to make those plays.

 

Jahlil Jenkins committed two costly turnovers in the final 25 seconds, allowing USF possession, forcing FDU to foul and permitting the Bulls to ice the game with free throws.

 

The Bulls finished 38 percent from the field for the game, which included a 2-of-15 performance from Collins, who struggled offensively but shined defensively. Brown added 12 points and six rebounds as USF outrebounded the Knights 47-24, including 17-6 on the offensive glass.

 

The Bulls tenth out-of-conference win is the most since the 2009-10 season. USF has won six straight games, the first time it has done that since the 07-08 season. The Bulls improved to 2-0 against Fairleigh Dickinson all-time with the victory.

 

USF will host UCONN in its first game on its AAC slate, it will be an 8:30 p.m. clash at the Yuengling Center on Wednesday night.

 

Bulls Radio

Welcome to Bulls Radio, Florida’s No. 1 College Radio Station!

Bulls Radio boasts a large repertoire of unique programming because of its contributors – the talented staff and volunteers that hold complete creative control of Bulls Radio. Our constant stream of unique programming reaches listeners from each USF campus, all over Tampa Bay, and even around the world!

Tune in to 1620 AM on campus or 89.7 HD3 Tampa, or stream us worldwide at bullsradio.org .Thank you for being a valued listener!

Jordan Cronkrite Makes History As Bulls Take Down Minutemen in Amherst

by Tyler McConnell

AMHERST- What started as a potential upset turned into a historic night for USF in a 58-42 victory over the University of Massachusetts in Amherst Saturday afternoon. UMass, under acting head coach Ed Pinkham, was unable to contain the USF ground attack, which racked up 365 yards. USF running back Jordan Cronkrite etched his name in program and conference record books, breaking the USF and American Athletic Conference single game rushing record. He finished the night with 302 yards and 3 touchdowns on 23 carries. For a part of the night however, the Bulls were hoping to survive an upset.

The Bulls got the scoring going on just their second play of the game when quarterback Blake Barnett found Tyre McCants down the middle for a 72-yard score. UMass would respond to that score on their first possession, when redshirt senior quarterback Andrew Ford found Brennon Dingle for a 31-yard touchdown. After a USF turnover and a UMass punt, the Bulls would grab the lead with a 29-yard field goal from Coby Weiss to make it 10-7. The teams combined for nine offensive drives in the first quarter. The score would stay locked at 10-7 until Blake Barnett threw an interception to UMass linebacker Bryton Barr. Barr, who only had one career interception coming in to Saturday, returned the pick 53 yards to the USF 13-yard line. The Minutemen would take advantage when Ford found Samuel Emilus for a 13-yard touchdown on a trick play to put UMass in front 14-10. On the ensuing kickoff, a scary moment occurred when Trevon Sands hit Michael Nesmith while trying to make a block. The UMass linebacker had to be taken off the field on a stretcher. Sands would be ejected from the game. After this, neither team would get on the board for the next 12 minutes until the Bulls converted a 25-yard field goal to make the score 14-13. The game changed on the next kickoff.

Marquis Young, the senior running back for UMass, was hit hard on the return and lost the football, allowing Tony Grier to recover it in UMass territory. On the very next play, the Bulls jumped out in front with a 19-yard run by freshman running back Johnny Ford, one of his two touchdowns on the day. The teams would head to the locker room with the Bulls ahead 20-14, but the game shifted in the Bulls’ favor from there on out. The Bulls would score five times in the 3rd quarter, including Jordan Cronkrite’s three touchdown runs. UMass, despite making it a 20-point game with just under three and a half to play in the third, could not close the gap, as the Bulls put 10 points up in the 4th quarter and held on to win 58-42. Jordan Cronkrite’s historic night highlighted what was an up and down affair for the Bulls.

Cronkrite became the new USF and AAC single game rushing yard record holder with 302 yards on the ground. He also added three scores of 77, 30 and 76 respectively. Croknrite’s performance was a difference maker, as 365 of the Bulls’ 574 total yards came on the ground. Jordan Cronkrite was quick to give his offensive line credit for his performance.

“They made big holes, I saw it and I just went, they did a great job getting the push up front and getting movement,” Cronkrite said.

The offensive line redeemed themselves in some ways on Saturday, after giving up six sacks two weeks ago against ECU, only two sacks were allowed on quarterback Blake Barnett. The blocking allowed Jordan Cronkrite to burst up the middle untouched for long runs. Despite the success, USF head coach Charlie Strong says the Bulls need to play cleaner football.

“I know this we’re going to have to play much better than what we played, too many penalties,” Strong said. “We’re just going to have to come out and play smarter and be a disciplined football team.”

The Bulls committed 11 penalties for 100 yards, something they have struggled with throughout the season. Despite this, the Bulls made enough plays on both sides of the ball to improve to 5-0 for the second straight year and the sixth time in program history. UMass drops to 2-5 on the season and suffers their first loss at home. The Minutemen remain winless against AAC competition.

TAKEAWAYS

The Bulls needed all the momentum they could get in the first half thanks to turnovers, but otherwise played a sloppy half. Once again, the defense did enough to give the offense a chance to make plays, and this time they were able to deliver. USF continues to show how much of a second half team they are, scoring 38 points, including 28 in the third quarter alone. Jordan Cronkrite has proven he will be a force to be reckoned with in the AAC, and the Bulls will continue to rely on his production in the future. With a short week, the Bulls will have to clean up their miscues.

The Minutemen proved their air attack can be difficult to stop, but their offense became one-dimensional for most of the game. UMass did not crack the 100-yard rush mark and had to rely on the arms of quarterbacks Andrew Ford and Ross Comis. While they managed to put up 42 points, they could not overcome the struggles of their defense, which ranks near the bottom of the NCAA in major statistical categories. The bye week will provide a chance for the Minutemen to regroup and prepare for Coastal Carolina.

 

WHATS NEXT

The USF Bulls (5-0) will travel to H.A. Chapman stadium in Tulsa, Oklahoma to take on the University of Tulsa on October 12.

The UMass Minutemen (2-5) will have the week off before returning to action on October 20 to take on Coastal Carolina at home.  

Bulls Radio

Welcome to Bulls Radio, Florida’s No. 1 College Radio Station!

Bulls Radio boasts a large repertoire of unique programming because of its contributors – the talented staff and volunteers that hold complete creative control of Bulls Radio. Our constant stream of unique programming reaches listeners from each USF campus, all over Tampa Bay, and even around the world!

Tune in to 1620 AM on campus or 89.7 HD3 Tampa, or stream us worldwide at bullsradio.org .Thank you for being a valued listener!

The USF Bulls Travel to Amherst to Take on the Minutemen of Massachussets

By Scott Baker

This weekend, the USF Bulls (4-0, 1-0 AAC) will face off against the UMASS Minutemen (2-4) for the first time. The two teams were scheduled to play for the first time last season, but the game was pushed back to 2022 as a result of Hurricane Irma.

The Minutemen will be without Head Coach Mark Whipple this weekend as a result of his comments following a 58-42 loss to Ohio last week. Whipple likened a no-call in the game to one of his players getting “raped” by the officials. The university went on to suspend Whipple without pay for the game against the Bulls this weekend.

Looking at the two teams, the Bulls will look to improve to 5-0 on the season as well as 12-2 in games outside of Tampa. Just as impressive, a win would give the Bulls their sixth straight win over a non conference opponent. For the Minutemen, with a win, would improve to 3-4 on the season. A win for the Minutemen would be their first over an AAC opponent since the conference started play in 2014 in their fourth attempt. The Minutemen played Tulane in 2016 and have played Temple twice,in 2015 and 2017.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Bulls rank 37th in the NCAA in total offense, averaging 465.8 yards per game. The Minutemen on the other hand come in at 73rd on in the country averaging 402.7 yards per game. In terms of time of possession, the Bulls and the Minutemen average 25 minutes of possession per game, which ranks 124th and 125th respectively.

In total defense, the Bulls check in at 92nd in the country giving up an average of 407 yard per game this season. UMASS ranks 114th in the country giving up just over 483 yards per game.

Players to Watch

For USF, one player to watch this weekend is junior running back Jordan Cronkrite. The junior leads the team in rushing with 304 yards on the season, averaging 101.3 yard per game. Cronkrite ranks inside the top 20 in the FBS in yards per carry at 6.61. Cronkrite ranks third in the American Athletic Conference averaging 101.3 yards per game. Cronkrite has appeared in three games for the Bulls this season, only missing the game in the season opener nursing an injury.

For UMASS, the player to watch will be senior wide receiver Andy Isabella. The 5-10 receiver has seven touchdown catches on the season, which is third best in the country. Isabella ranks second in the country in receiving yards with 648 yards on the season, averaging 108 receiving yards per game, which puts him at 10th in the country. Isabella also ranks 13th in the country with 6.8 receptions per game.

The Result

Both the Bulls and the Minutemen like to give up yards, with both giving up over 400 yards per game. The game has the making to be a very high scoring affair with lots of air attack from the Bulls. Statistically, this game favors the Bulls and it should play out accordingly. USF takes the game 45-17 over the Minutemen on Saturday afternoon.

Check out the Bulls Radio page on Facebook for pre and post game show live streams hosted by Tyler McConnell and Scott Baker. Also follow them on twitter, @Tyler_9786 and @sbaker1418 for live game tweets.


Bulls Radio

Welcome to Bulls Radio, Florida’s No. 1 College Radio Station!

Bulls Radio boasts a large repertoire of unique programming because of its contributors – the talented staff and volunteers that hold complete creative control of Bulls Radio. Our constant stream of unique programming reaches listeners from each USF campus, all over Tampa Bay, and even around the world!

Tune in to 1620 AM on campus or 89.7 HD3 Tampa, or stream us worldwide at bullsradio.org .Thank you for being a valued listener!