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November 10, 2012
USF loses big in opener
The concerns USF coach Stan Heath had coming into his team's opener Saturday night didn't go away.
The Bulls were out-rebounded 45-26 as in-state rival UCF cruised to an easy 74-56 win in front of a huge crowd at the new Sun Dome Saturday night.
"We're obviously very disappointed. We didn't play well," Bulls coach Stan Heath said. "They beat us in areas that bother me. They dominated the glass. They got most of the loose balls -- the effort plays."
Guard Jawanza Poland had a career-high 22 points off the bench, but no other Bull reached double figures.
Point guard Isaiah Sykes had 26 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, and forward Keith Clanton 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Knights, who shot 57 percent in the second half.
USF shot just 9-of-29 in the first half and turned the ball over 11 times in the game.
"We just have to spend more time in the gym really tightening up the ship," Heath said.
The Bulls play next on Friday at home against Maryland-Eastern Shore. Heath said he was impressed with the announced crowd of 7,717 in the opener.
"I was very impressed with the turnout tonight, very impressed with the students that really filled that section," Heath said. "We let them down, but we still have a lot of games to go."