A late charge with an unusual lineup was enough for USF, as the Bulls kicked off 2015 with a 58-50 win over ECU on Saturday night at the Sun Dome.
Bo Ziegler gave an energy spark that carried the Bulls on a 12-0 run that last over six minutes, from the 7:46 mark of the second half until a three by the Pirates Caleb White with 1:40 to play. Ziegler put up eight points in a row by himself during the run, including making three consecutive free throws despite shooting just 31% from the line coming into the game.
The lineup also had Anthony Collins, Corey Allen Jr. & Dinero Mercurius on the floor, giving the Bulls a smaller look that was still able to get stops. USF defended better than their par for the season as well, holding the Pirates to just 18-51 from the floor, and outrebounding them 37-32 for the game.
Freshman Ruben Guerrero also continued to show his development, going 6-7 from the floor for 13 points and seven rebounds in just 28 minutes of action. The Spaniard also added three blocks, while Ziegler was active as well with eight rebounds to go with his nine points in just 19 minutes of action.
"For us and the staff to see them finish off a game, stick to our principles... really happy about that," said Orlando Antigua after the game. Those principles kept the Pirates to just .877 points per possession, the best defensive number for USF in weeks.
The Bulls did manage to scrap out a win despite continuing to struggle from three-point range. Coming into the game ranked 299th in America in three-point percentage, the Bulls were only 3-19 from deep tonight, while allowing a 6-15 performance from ECU.
Next up for the Bulls are Kevin Ollie, Ryan Boatright, and the rest of the reigning National Champion UConn Huskies. It's 80's Night as well, so dress in your best Members Only jackets and spray that hair high ladies.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>.<a href="https://twitter.com/USFCoachO">@USFCoachO</a> wants to see all the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USF?src=hash">#USF</a> students in the Dome on Tuesday against the defending champs UConn. #... <a href="https://t.co/pCqjTNNAIw">https://t.co/pCqjTNNAIw</a></p>— USF Athletics (@USFAthletics) <a href="https://twitter.com/USFAthletics/status/551564249580179456">January 4, 2015</a></blockquote>
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