Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Close loss to Syracuse could help Bulls for post season

USF didn’t beat number two ranked Syracuse, but the Bulls may have improved their chances of getting an invite to the NCAA post season tournament by playing the Orange tough in 56-48 loss on the road Wednesday night.

USF (17-11, 10-5 Big East) got off to good start jumping out to a 20-7 lead with a strong defensive effort that forced the Orange to miss 12 of their first 14 shots. The Bulls then fell into a funk and Syracuse ran off 26 unanswered points stretching from the last 8:53 of the first half into the second half.

The Bulls missed 14 straight shots until the scoring drought finally ending on a layup by Hugh Robertson 2:23 into the second half. USF trailed by 14, but put together its own comeback and closed to within one point with 6:25 left in the game, but couldn’t get the lead back.

This game marked only the second time this season Syracuse (28-1, 15-1) trailed by double digits, the other game coming in its only defeat, a 67-58 loss at Notre Dame.

The Bulls were led by freshman point guard Anthony Collins, who had 12 points and dished out 10 assists. The only other USF player in double figures was Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, who had 11 points. Augustus Gilchrist led the Bulls on the boards with eight rebounds.

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