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Bulls Lose Late Lead, Fall to NJIT, 60-57


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Bulls Lose Late Lead, Fall to NJIT, 60-57



Peters finishes two rebounds short of a triple-double



TAMPA, NOV. 16, 2015 – Orlando Antigua’s new-look Bulls continued to make progress in a 60-57 loss to the NJIT on Monday night at the Sun Dome.



USF (0-2) led by as many as 11 points in the second half and clung to a five-point advantage with less than two minutes to go before falling to a talented opponent.  Damon Lynn scored a game-high 27 points for an NJIT team that returned eight players, including all five starters, from last season’s 21-win squad, which knocked off then-No. 17 Michigan.



“We’ve shown enough that we can take a lead,” Antigua said. “Now we have to continue to play, be smart and execute, so that we can finish off games. We have to put together a complete game if we’re going to try to win.”



Roddy Peters helped put USF in a position to win by nearly posting a triple-double with 13 points, a game-high 10 assists and eight rebounds in his first start as a Bull. The sophomore guard from Washington, D.C., has been hampered by back spasms and showed improved mobility in 35 minutes of action.



“He’s doing everything he can every day to prepare himself for practice and for games,” Antigua said. “It’s a good sign. He did a lot of positive things.”



Freshman Jahmal McMurray led the Bulls with 14 points and made all three of his 3-pointers in the second half. McMurray’s second 3-pointer sparked a 13-0 run that gave the Bulls a 49-38 lead with less than eight minutes remaining. 



“He took the right threes and that was a big emphasis for us,” Antigua said. “For him, he grew today. He learned a lot.”



Senior Angel Nunez scored nine of his 11 total points in the first half as USF headed into the break with a 27-24 lead. Senior Jaleel Cousins stepped up on the defensive end with five blocks and six rebounds to help the Bulls finish with a 40-36 edge on the boards.  



The first-ever USF-NJIT meeting began with impressive runs by both teams and the Bulls jumped out to a big lead early.



Nine points from Nunez helped power USF’s game-opening 19-6 run while the Bulls’ defense brought the intensity right away. NJIT (1-1) committed seven turnovers and went 3-for-17 from the field in the first 12 minutes of action before the Highlanders ended a scoring drought that lasted nearly 8 minutes.



USF led by 15 with 6:29 to go before halftime, but NJIT responded with a 16-2 run and cut its deficit 25-24 with a 3-pointer by Lynn. Peters knocked down a jumper with 1:22 remaining and USF headed into the break with a 27-24 lead.



The lead changed hands four times in the first eight minutes of the second half and McMurray’s second 3-pointer spotted the Bulls a 39-38 advantage with 12:18 to play.



USF continued on a 13-0 run and a thunderous dunk by Bo Zeigler pumped the lead up to 49-38 with 7:48 remaining. NJIT went nearly five minutes without a basket during the Bulls’ hot stretch.



“That’s what really kept us in the game was defense,” McMurray said. “We were getting multiple stops and everybody was playing together on offense.”



Just like the first half, NJIT responded and Lynn’s fourth 3-pointer of the game cut the Highlanders’ deficit to 55-51 with 2:43 to play. NJIT took a 58-57 lead on another 3-pointer by Lynn with 48 seconds remaining.



USF had multiple looks at a game-tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of a game that provided the Bulls with some teaching points.



“If you give anybody 21 extra possessions on turnovers, it’s hard to beat a ball club that had 27 points off those turnovers,” Antigua said.



USF continues a string of four Hoophall Miami Invitational games in nine days with a home test against George Washington 7 p.m. Thursday. Reserve your Sun Dome seats at USFBullsTix.com.

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No gel yet. They need to learn how to play together. I noticed last night that there isn't much communication going on during gameplay. All of the injuries aren't helping either.

No outside shooting really to speak of. 

The outside shooting is actually better than in years past. I think McMurray and Nunez are streaky, and once we get Holston back, we should be fine. The main problem that I see is our lack of perimeter defense, and our "bigs" are just not capitalizing on their size against these smaller teams. I counted at least 5-7 shots around the rim that either Guerrero, Perry, or Cousins wiffed on being super close to the rim. Troy and NJIT have simply outhustled USF in these first two games. NJIT knocked down shots in the end, when they needed to, and we did very little to stop them.

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I think with this team we need to play a straight zone.   We actually played zone last night and that is when we took a 9 point lead in 2nd half,   when back to man to man and lost the gam.  We do not defend when or help on defense.   We give up way too many layups because when there is no secondary help with a switch.    On offense since we had height advantage we tried to force down low passes to Cousins or Perry who got quickly got triple teamed and they forced a bad shot or lost the ball.

Also at end of the game where is the TIME OUT by inbounding player if we have trouble inbounding the ball?    Where is a set inbound play since we have trouble when pressed to inbound?  Two games I believe we got out coached and outhustled by smaller teams.    Should have be 2 wins.    We badly need a true point guard that can handle the ball.    I know Peters is a freshman,  but no doubt if we had Collins controlling the game and ball,  especially at the end of last night game we win probably both games.


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