The USF Bulls fell to the Temple Owls 73-55 during Saturday’s matinee matchup. On the bright side, forward Isaiah Manderson led the Bulls with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Glory.
“I felt going into today’s game that Temple was playing about as well as any other team in our conference,” USF head coach Brian Gregory said.
Freshman guard David Collins opened scoring with a three. And then he followed with a layup. Temple responded with a quick 7-0 run and the Bulls didn’t score for like, three minutes. MISS US WITH THAT. Guard Payton Banks ended the drought with a nice little jumper. And then a three. Come through, Payton!
With 11:30 to play, it was tied up at 13-13. Both teams were shooting 45 percent, 5-for-11 from the field, 2-for-5 from three-point range, and 50 percent from the free throw line. It’s like it was some kind of even matchup or something.
“We put ourselves in really good positon against a team that’s got really dynamic scorers,” Gregory said.
And then both teams went scoreless for FOUR MINUTES. Like come on. Really, I should’ve gotten a cheeseburger during that time. I digress. Back to business.
A little boy sitting near me actually said, “I’m not trying to be mean but these teams are awful.” You know what … lol. Okay NOW back to business.
With four minutes to play in the half, it was tied up at 21. Manderson fought his way to the rim a couple of times, which looked pretty promising. A big guy who’s not scared to get physical. We need it. On the other end, a little Owl found the lane wide open and THREW. IT. DOWN. Cute. I’m just happy nobody got put on a poster because honestly that’s the last thing we need in this building, OK.
Anyway, Manderson muscled his way to the basket again and tied it up. Freshman Justin Brown hit a three to take a 30-27 lead with a minute to play in the first half. Temple, of course, tied it up at 30 before the break. Banks led all scorers with 10 points and Manderson had 8 points, 4 rebounds.
At least we weren’t down?
“I thought his [Manderson] best game in his career was the other night against UConn and I thought he exceeded that today,” Gregory said. “Consistency is his biggest piece.”
The Owls opened the second half on a 7-0 run, and took their largest lead thus far. After two minutes, guard Stephan Jiggetts finally connected on a layup. And a few minutes later a dunk by forward Malik Martin woke up the Sun Dome (myself included).
Manderson followed with another layup to cut the lead to three! ... Then Temple responded with one of its own. Smh. A little back and forth action went down, and USF hit 5-of-5 to inch its way back to a 46-44 deficit with 11 minutes to play. But , a quick four points by the Owls and a scoreless two minutes for the Bulls shut that down REAL quick.
“We’ve taken a lot of steps forward over the past five or six games,” Gregory said. “And in the second half today we did not. We plateaued. We did not play the way we have been playing.”
Over the course of 3:44, USF committed four turnovers. With back-to-back threes, Temple took its largest lead at the time, 60-47. Actually … add a three-point play in there to extend that lead. And after a long 5 minutes the Bulls hadn’t hit ANY field goals and were suddenly down by 17 (!!!) points. An all too familiar story.
“When you turn the ball over it takes a little bit away,” Gregory said. “Even if they don’t score on the turnover, it takes away from the defensive intensity.”
Over 6:35 Temple had gone on a 19-2 run. That is sad. Manderson finally got one in for the Bulls but with 1:23 to play, USF was still down 70-51 … so there’s that. Walk-on guard Henry Beard checked in and knocked down 1-of-2 free throws and Brown drained another three. That was the end of scoring for the Bulls as they lost 73-55. What’s new?
“Our defensive rebounding and our turnovers cost us the game,” Gregory said. “And that’s been our problem all season long.”