RunningtheBulls - USF Bulls run over UAPB Golden Lions, 70-41
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USF Bulls run over UAPB Golden Lions, 70-41

USF Bulls men's basketball team made easy work of the UAPB Golden Lions on Tuesday night, 70-41.

David Collins elevates against Arkansas-Pine Bluff | Ben McCool
David Collins elevates against Arkansas-Pine Bluff | Ben McCool (Ben McCool)

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The University of South Florida Bulls started their 2019-20 men’s basketball season with a dominant victory over the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions, 70-41 on Tuesday evening. Three Bulls scored in double-digits as USF cruised to an easy win.

While the final score was lopsided, the first half of the game was very competitive for the first 16 minutes, with the Golden Lions even leading a few times in the period. In the final four minutes, however, the Bulls began to pull away, tying their game-high lead of eight points on a B.J. Mack jump shot, to lead 32-24.

After leading by two points with less than eight minutes remaining in the first half, UAPB was outscored by the Bulls, 17-4, taking a 37-26 lead into the halftime break.

USF simply dominated the second half, running their lead up to 18 points eight minutes into the period, 46-28. The Golden Lions would not get within single digits of the Bulls, who once led by 31, for the remainder of the game.

David Collins had a big game, shooting 10-17 from the line and finishing with a game-high of 18 points. Justin Brown was 3-5 from beyond the arc and scored the team’s second best total of 12 points. LaQuincy Rideau earned a double-double, with ten points and ten rebounds. Michael Durr, who finished with six points was a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line.

After the game, USF head coach, Brian Gregory, was asked about a big block by Collins, where he seemed to fly across the court to get a hand on the ball.

“Yeah, that was a big time, big time play,” said Gregory. “You know, we have two guards, we joke that they have all gas and no brakes. David is a physical force out there. He got 17 free throws today. He does it on defense. He does it on offense. Half the time, he’s waiting in the weeds to pounce.”

For Pine Bluff, Shaun Doss and Markedric Bell were the scoring leaders, with ten points apiece, nearly half of the team’s offensive output. DeQuan Morris rounded out the top three, finishing with eight points.

The Bulls had a 22-14 edge in the paint and a big advantage in scoring off of turnovers, 17-2. The win, however, is mostly likely due to a strong defensive performance. UAPB scored just 15 points in the second half. Their 41 point total is the 7th lowest final score for a USF opponent in program history.

Gregory, in his postgame comments, talked about that defense.

“Did some really good things on the defensive end”, said Gregory “Obviously, holding that team to 28% from the field, forcing 21 turnovers, and giving up only five offensive rebounds, is part of our formula. Pleased with that.”

While Gregory was happy to win, he noted there is a lot of room for improvement, and that improvement needs to happen soon.

“We didn’t finish around the basket, which is something we’ve got to do a better job of,” said Gregory. “All in all, we win by 30 points and get a lot of a guys some minutes. Get guys kind of moving again out there.”

“We’ve got to get a lot better by Sunday. Because, obviously, we play a very, very, good opponent on Sunday.”

Gregory was alluding to what’s next for the team, a home game against Boston College on Sunday. The Eagles begin their season on Wednesday, hosting Wake Forest. Tipoff for the USF game is noon, EST. CBS Sports Network will televise the game.