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USF Escapes (Again) Vs. FAMU, 73-70

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

You know that feeling you get right before you head to Vegas? Like you can't focus and you just can't wait to get on that plane? USF had that feeling tonight in their 73-70 win over 297th RPI ranked FAMU. Had the Rattlers scored one more point, it would’ve been the first time in school history that USF had won four straight games by two points or less.

The Bulls (8-2) started out ice cold, missing their first 6 shots and going down 8-1 at the 16:42 mark. They then went five for their next eight and did a good job getting to the free-throw line, going 13 for 20 in the first half (finishing 18-26), while not sending FAMU to the line until the last minute of the first half.

Junior guard Corey Allen Jr. had a monster night, leading the team with 22 points. “Corey carried us in a big way offensively,” said Coach Stan Heath. Close behind him was senior forward Victor Rudd Jr., who registered a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Junior point guard Anthony Collins didn’t take a single shot the entire game despite playing 33 minutes, finishing with just two points from the free-throw line. He did however find his teammates for eight assists against just two turnovers.

“The things that we knew they did, they did. We couldn’t stop them. Why? I don’t know,” said Coach Stan Heath. “At the end of the day it counts as a W. Take it and we’ll move on.”

FAMU (2-9) managed to grab 18 offensive rebounds and finished with a total of 39 caroms to the Bulls 35. USF allowed FAMU to take 15 more shots because of all those offensive rebounds and FAMU started out on fire, shooting 71% from three (5-7) and finishing the game 10-24.

The Rattlers played a deep bench and had 12 different players involved, all getting at least six minutes. They only had one player finish in double digits with senior guard Jamie Adams scoring 16 off the bench. FAMU’s senior guard Muhammad Abdul-Aleem didn’t get a chance to play against his identical twin (USF’s junior guard Musa Abdul-Aleem, who didn't play due to a hip bruise), but scored two points for the Rattlers off the bench.

The Bulls now head off to Sin City for the Las Vegas Classic to see the end of their non-conference schedule. They face a 7-2 Mississippi State team on Sunday at 8 p.m. EST and either UNLV or Santa Clara on Monday.