With the USF SunDome undergoing renovation, our intrepid basketball reporter will follow the South Florida basketball team around the USF campus this season, as the team plays its games in different buildings across the campus. Check back after each home game for updates (hopefully).
Tampa - South Florida used tough defense and clutch offense to defeat the Cincinnati Bearcats 46-45 at USF Theatre 2.
The game was held concurrently with "Body Stories," an interpretive dance production by the USF School of Theatre and Dance, the BRIT Program and Filter Theatre. The dance performance was integrated into all aspects of the game.
"This was a great opportunity to blend two worlds, bridging paradigms heretofore unbridged," said Ollie Dimsdale, Artistic Director of Filter Theatre. "In this way we were able to explore the sub-alter externalities of masculinity and competition spiced with tranquility and triumph."
"Pairing the athleticism of basketball and dance was a natural" said Marc Powers, Director of the School of Theatre and Dance.
Anthony Collins, whose two free throws with 3.2 seconds to go sealed the game, said the dancers helped him prepare.
"Before the game, the whole team worked out with the dancers, practicing all kinds of dance," Collins said. "It really helped with our footwork come gametime.
"Plus, who would've guessed that Ron Anderson was so good at the tango?"
"He was really a natural," said Powers. "We might try to get him to switch majors."
"At first it was weird, but after awhile we figured they were on our side and we could use them to our advantage," said Collins, who had 14 points and five assists.
"A few times, the dancers were positioned so I could use them to pick my defender, and then drive to the hole," Collins said. "Even thought they're pretty skinny, they set surprisingly good picks."
"On the defensive side, having a dozen dancers in the lane made it hard for the Bearcats to get to the rim," said coach Stan Heath.
"They really pestered our shooters, surrounding them and making our guys pick up their dribble when we didn't want to," said Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin. "Plus, the women in skin-tight leotards and dudes in codpieces were pretty distracting."
Notes: "This has been a unique experience," said Heath. "This is without a doubt the best acoustics of any of the venues we've played at this year."
"A big key was, late in the game, we could hear coach's calls very clearly," said forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick. "It got us into our sets quickly, and our defensive rotations were really sharp."
However, the great acoustics in the hall had some deleterious effects.
"The language the players used was appalling," said Patricia Huntsman, who attended the game with here two young sons. "At other games we couldn't hear them so clearly. When your child asks you what a (expletiving) (expletive) (expletive) is, well, it's time to take the boys home."