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USF, 6-7 (0-2), fell 56 to 70 to Houston to close out the 2016 calendar year. USF actually led this game to start but a second half cold streak doomed them.
The Bulls started the game with a lead, but were down 34 to 38 at the break after the Cougars began to hit their 3-point shots to take the lead. USF shot 44% for the first 20 minutes, but allowed the Cougars to shoot 53% from the floor. USF did have the slight edge in total rebounds at 15 to 13 while Troy Holston led all USF scorers with 12 first half points.
In the second half, the Bulls went ice cold half way through the period, going over 6 minutes without a basket. During that stretch, Houston went on a 16-1 run while USF shot 0 for 12. This allowed the Cougars to build the double digit lead and they never looked back.
The Bulls shot just 33% for the game (42% for Houston) and had 13 turnovers. USF also lost the rebounding battle at 37 to 39. Nothing went their way, but at this point, we are pretty used to this narrative.
Troy Holston had 16 points and a steal to lead the Bulls, but was just 2 for 8 from 3-point range. Geno Thorpe had 9 points (3 for 10 shooting), 6 rebounds, and added 3 assists. Malik Fitts had 12 points and 6 rebounds while Tulio Da Silva added 10 points and 5 rebounds (also had 5 turnovers). USF did not have Bo Zeigler for this game due to an ankle injury.
Damyean Dotson and Rob Gray each totaled 25 points a piece to lead the Cougars.
USF will head to SMU on Saturday (game begins at 5 PM EST) to begin the new calendar year in conference play. Maybe a week off will do this team some good.
by Matt Staton
SoFloBulls.com Columnist | @USFMatt
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