The Bulls fell 49 to 60 to ECU, dropping their overall record to 6-6 (0-1) on the season. USF could not buy a bucket in the first half, allowing ECU to take a lead they would never give up.
To say it was ugly in the first half would be an understatement. USF was down 17 to 34 and managed just 4 points 7 minutes into the game. The Bulls had 7 field goals (shot 28% from the floor) and 15 turnovers. It was an ugly 20 minutes of basketball, a first half the Bulls would not be able to rally back from.
In the second half, the Bulls at least made it a game, coming with 8 points at one point. The Pirates went 9 minutes without a field goal down the stretch, but were able to hit clutch free throws to hold onto the double-digit lead, never allowing the Bulls to get any closer.
USF shot 30% for the game (36% overall for ECU) and were 8 for 15 at the free throw line compared to 21 for 38 for the Pirates. USF won the rebounding battle at 47 to 38, but had 18 turnovers. Granted, the Bulls had just 3 more turnovers in the last 20 minutes, taking better care of the ball, but the early hole they dug was too much to overcome in this game.
Geno Thorpe led the Bulls with 18 points (7 for 13) and added 2 rebounds and 2 assists. Tulio Da Silva had 5 points (2 for 11 shooting) and added 12 rebounds. Troy Holston returned with 4 points (0 for 6 from 3-point range) and added 3 rebounds. Elijah Hughes had 19 points and 4 rebounds to lead the Pirates.
USF is back home as they host AAC foe Houston on Saturday (game begins at noon). Sigh, time to shake this one off and get back to work back in the Sun Dome. At this point, I just want to see the effort we saw in the second half and hope for the best.
by Matt Staton
SoFloBulls.com Columnist | @USFMatt
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