Bulls buried by avalanche of 3-point­ers in 2nd loss

Orlando Sentinel (Sunday) - - SPORTS SUNDAY - By Joey Knight Tampa Bay Times

TAMPA — Fac­ing a team from a mid-ma­jor con­fer­ence that sub­sists from the 3-point line, USF could match nei­ther its pro­fi­ciency or ef­fi­ciency Satur­day af­ter­noon.

The Bulls (4-2) sur­ren­dered 16 3-point­ers to The Citadel (4-2) and failed to hit a field goal in the last 2 1⁄2 min­utes in an 84-81 loss be­fore an an­nounced Yuengling Cen­ter au­di­ence of 2,626.

The 16 treys were the most ever con­verted by a USF op­po­nent. Bulls sopho­more David Collins got two solid looks from long range on USF’s fi­nal pos­ses­sion, but missed both.

“We played hard, but we just weren’t as sharp to­day, and that’s dis­ap­point­ing,” said Bulls coach Brian Gre­gory, whose team has played four games the past nine days, in­clud­ing two in Ja­maica.

“We’ve got to get back on the court and prac­tice. And this is the time of the year, in this stretch right here…where we haven’t got­ten as much prac­tice time. And it clearly, clearly showed tonight in terms of our abil­ity to stay true to who we are.”

Though they shot nearly 45 per­cent (16-for-36) from long range, the Bull­dogs iron­i­cally sealed things down the stretch with drib­ble pen­e­tra­tion. Vet­eran guard Lew Stall­worth’s driv­ing layup with 2:06 to play re­sulted in a three-point play, cut­ting the Bulls’ lead to 79-78.

Stall­worth (22 points, five as­sists) con­verted an­other layup 38 sec­onds later to give his team an 80-79 ad­van­tage.

“He com­pletely dom­i­nated game,” Gre­gory said.

Two Collins free throws with 1:02 to play pushed the Bulls back ahead, but se­nior guard Con­nor Kern’s layup 19 sec­onds later gave The Citadel a lead it wouldn’t re­lin­quish. USF turned the ball over its next pos­ses­sion, and Stall­worth added two more free throws with 17 sec­onds to go.

The Bulls, who fin­ished 21-for-36 in­side the 3-point line, got 21 points each from Collins and guard Laquincy Rideau. They outscored The Citadel, 38-26, in the paint, but fre­quently were stymied by hasty shot se­lec­tion (7-for-26 from long range) in­stead of pa­tiently try­ing to work the ball in­side.

“I think we had our chances,” Collins said. “I think it started from the be­gin­ning of the game, that we didn’t set the tone right and we let them stay in the game, and it hurt us in the end.” the

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