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Bulls Lose. Again.

But this time to UConn (9-11), who is also bad. And by 21. Which is real bad.

NCAA Basketball: Connecticut at South Florida Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

So apparently UConn has also been pretty trash this year, and it wasn’t completely crazy to think we actually had a chance at pulling off our first W in what feels like …. all season. I mean it wasn’t a horrible game. Until the end when somehow USF (6-13, 0-8 AAC) let a one-point lead turn into a 21-point loss. Ha.

“It was very disappointing,” USF head coach Murry Bartow said. “I’m not a sugarcoat guy. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Not real pleased right now. And the last 14 minutes of the game obviously didn’t go the way we wanted it to go. Its something we’ve got to own, something we’ve got to address, and its something we’ve got to deal with. This is not the first time this has happened.”

The first half started off pretty ugly. The Huskies went on a 7-0 run in under two minutes and forced a quick USF timeout. Awesome.

A free throw by freshman forward Tulio Da Silva got the Bulls on the board and he followed up with another jumper, before UConn sophomore guard Jalen Adams responded with one of his own. After 5 minutes to play, the Huskies had hit 6-of-6 while the Bulls were 1-of-8. Lol… UConn up 14-4 at this point. *sigh*

“They just came out with more energy,” freshman guard Mike Bibby Jr. said. “They wanted to play, they were ready to play coming into the game. It showed in the first couple minutes of the game.”

BUT don’t lose hope just yet. Bibby hit a three to increase USF’s shooting percentage to a whopping 22 percent, and the Huskies tried to respond with a trey of their own but missed their first shot of the night. WOO.

Seven minutes in freshman forward Malik Fitts added a three of his own, cutting the deficit to four AND THINGS STARTED LOOKING UP. Sophomore forward Luis Santos bodied his way into putting up his first two points of the night, and got the Bulls within two points.

“I thought Luis was great,” Bartow said. “Showed great heart and energy, played well.”

Bibby added another three, presumably to show out for his dad, Mike Bibby Sr., who was in the stands of the Sun Dome. “It’s nice having him here, having myself perform the way I did,” Bibby said. “But it really means nothing to me if we lose. So I don’t really care about my performance that much.”

The freshman hit another three and the Bulls held the Huskies to a two-minute scoring drought. A driving layup by junior forward Bo Zeigler cut the deficit to one after USF hit 5-of-5.

Back to big fella, Santos had a nasty block on UConn senior forward Kentan Facey.

A driving, Westbrook-like layup by junior guard Geno Thorpe got the Bulls within two points at the half. The Huskies took a 35-33 lead into the locker room. Bibby and Da Silva led the Bulls with nine points each.

“I thought the first half we played really well,” Bartow said. “We’re down two at the half, honestly I thought we could have been up six or eight at half. But we did a lot of good things the first 20 minutes of the game.”

Four minutes into the second half, the Bulls got their first lead of the night (41-40) with a mid-range jumper from sophomore guard Troy Holston. COME THROUGH.

UConn (9-11, 4-4 AAC) went on an 8-0 scoring run over 2:46 before Holston ended the drought with a layup. They then held UConn to a scoreless 3:30 and got within four points thanks to a jumper by Santos (which is strange because you usually find him under the rim but #whatever).

“We weren’t really taking care of the ball,” Thorpe said. “We were up by one at one point, then they just went on a run and we didn’t really have an answer for them. We kept turning the ball over and it was a domino effect.”

The Huskies ended the drought with a three-pointer and responded with a 9-0 run. UConn worked its way back up to a 10-point lead with seven minutes to play. Are we surprised? No. Are we disappointed? Yes.

There was no coming back from that deficit. The Huskies stats were ridiculous. They finished shooting 49% from the field, 12-of-20 from beyond the arc, and had five players in double figures.

“They shot 49 percent from the field,” Thorpe said. “So they were shooting the ball really well tonight. The adjustments weren’t good enough.”

Speaking of things in double figures … we lost by them. Troy Holston led the Bulls with 15 points.

Side note: junior forward Isaiah Manderson wasn’t on the bench, and was actually in the stands watching. Turn up, turnstile count!

“Indefinite suspension from our basketball team,” Bartow said on Manderson. “And the only man that will make that final call is Mark Harlan.”


Next up the Bulls will host Memphis on Thursday, Feb 2, for a 7:00 tipoff. See ya there … maybe.