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November 9, 2013

USF downs Tennessee Tech

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Freshman forward Chris Perry scored 14 points in his college debut, Victor Rudd finished with 23 points and the South Florida Bulls defeated a pesky Tennessee Tech team 72-62 on Saturday night.

Even through early foul trouble, freshman center John Egbunu managed 7 points and 7 rebounds to help the Bulls pull away from Tech in the final minutes.

However, Egbunu wasn't the only Bulls big man that came ready to play.

Perry (Bartow High School) had a solid first game, showing the kind of impact he can have on a revamped Bulls team this year both offensively and defensively. He had the time of his life playing in his first college basketball game.

"I loved it, it was exciting," said Perry. "But I need to watch my fouls and rebound more. I just let the game come to me."

Head Coach Stan Heath couldn't agree more about his young and talented power forward.

"Perry played well for us with his defense and rebounding. He lets the game come to him," said Heath. "I like the potential combination of Perry and Egbunu on the floor together, I think that's definitely a potential lineup against some bigger teams."

In the first game of his senior campaign, Rudd led the Bulls with 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals. Rudd fell into foul trouble in the first half, but came out strong in the 2nd half to lead the Bulls to a double-digit victory at the Sun Dome.

"Rudd didn't have a great game for us in the first 25 minutes or so, but he finished strong," said Heath. "As a team, we didn't come out of the gate in the 2nd half as strong as I'd like, but we played well enough to get the win."

Rudd discussed his thoughts on the game as well as Anthony Collins missing the first game if the year due to a lagging knee injury.

"We need these types of games early in the season," said Rudd. "It's good experience for the young guys. I think we can get wins without (Anthony Collins), but we're obviously a much smoother team with him on the court. But right now, we're pretending like he's not even on the team so when he gets back, it'll be that much better."

Tennessee Tech put up quite a fight and didn't seem to want to go away as they kept the game close throughout and even cut the Bulls' lead to 4 at one point in the second half.

"This was a good win, but Tennessee Tech did a good job," said Heath. "They were aggressive and they exposed some of our weaknesses. Those will be corrected and it will help when AC gets back."

TTU starting guard Ty Allen had himself quite a game, scoring 25 points on 9-17 shooting and a couple of three pointers down the stretch of the game. However, it didn't prove to be enough as the USF big men had several strong defensive stands to finish the game leading by double digits.

The Bulls host Bethune Cookman on Tuesday night at the Sun Dome, a game in which Anthony Collins could make his season debut.

Nicos notes:

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  • - Oldsmar Christian star guard and USF verbal commit Troy Holston was a spectator at the game.

  • - Collins practiced in full with the team 2 days in a row now, according to Heath. He is questionable for Tuesday's game.

  • - Sophomore starting forward Zach LeDay went scoreless, going 0-3 in only 18 minutes. He recorded 4 rebounds.

  • - Heath added that he thought Corey Allen Jr. did a solid job stepping into the starting point guard spot in the midst of Collins' absence. Allen finished with 7 points and 7 assists, including two alley oop lobs to Chris Perry and a nice swing pass to Victor Rudd for a leaning one hand slam.



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