First off, its fantastic to finally get a win. The team has been close lately, and finally closing out a game after giving up late leads throughout the season has to do wonders for their confidence. I don't know what Coach Heath said at the half, but the Bulls obviously listened, and what seemed like an embarrassing home loss at the half turned into a win and a possible season changer when the final buzzer sounded. Let's get into our 5 thoughts on the game.
- We've had some well documented problems with our free throw shooting over the years, but this year's team has done a great job at the charity stripe. After today's 19-23 performance at the line, the team for the season is making 69% of their free throws. I can remember when our top FT shooter was only shooting at 70%, but the team? I can't remember when it happened last, but it's been a long, long time. Also, going 8 for 8 in the final minute is the difference between a win and a loss. Great job all around.
- Our posts did an excellent job taking advantage of our talent differential in the paint. USF outrebounded PC 45-39, and had an outrageous 20 offensive rebounds. Jarrid Famous led the way with a 15 point, 14 rebound effort including 7 offensive rebounds. Toarlyn Fitzpatrick has some sort of vendetta against the Friars, as he put in his best performance of the season, going for 10 points and 4 rebounds. Augustus Gilchrist scored all 10 of his points in the 2nd half after starting the game 0-4. Gus also chipped in 7 rebounds and 3 assists off the bench. Ron Anderson Jr. was the only post not in double figures, but he helped out with the press when he was out there and finished with 8 points and 6 rebounds.
- I expected Marshon Brooks to light up the box score and he did not disappoint, going for 28 points, 3 steals, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks. He did get into some foul trouble, which opened up Hugh Robertson to have a monster night. Hugh had a 17 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assist effort tonight, all while trying to guard Brooks most of the night.
- Speaking of our guards, it was nice to see Jawanza Poland stay out of foul trouble tonight. He had a poor shooting night going 2-11 from the field, but he made up for it at the charity stripe, going 8-8 to finish with 13 points.
Anthony Crater had himself a decent game out there. Only 3 points, but he had another solid performance with 6 assists and only 2 turnovers and also chipped in with 3 rebounds. He also did a tremendous job on Vincent Council, limiting him to only two points on 1-8 shooting. Any scoring we get from Crater is a plus, but if he can continue distributing the ball like he has in Big East play sans Cincinnati, I feel confident with him and LaVonte Dority manning the point in the future.