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Perry Slams Home Bulls’ First Win of Season


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USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com

 

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Perry Slams Home Bulls’ First Win of Season

Cousins records second-consecutive double-double

 

TAMPA, NOV. 24, 2015 – Chris Perry slammed home the go-ahead dunk with just nine seconds left and the Bulls secured their first win of the season by holding off Albany, 63-61, on Tuesday night.

 

USF (1-4) stormed back from an eight-point deficit in the final nine minutes and got the defensive play of the night from Roddy Peters when it mattered most. Following Perry’s dunk, Peters stepped in front of a sideline pass for a steal on the Albany end and Jahmal McMurray’s free throws capped off the scoring with two seconds remaining.

 

“It’s what happens when you commit to defense and when you commit to hustle plays. Things just happen to fall your way when you’re doing those kinds of things,” head coach Orlando Antigua said. “I thought we did a lot of that tonight.”

 

USF got a lot of production from its big men and leading the way was Angel Nunez, who finished with a game-high 16 points after going 7-for-10 from the field. Jaleel Cousins posted his second consecutive double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds to help the Bulls finish with a 40-38 edge on the boards.

 

“It was satisfying to get this type of win, especially when it was a nail-biter and we had to play all the way to the end,” Nunez said.

Steady play from Nunez and Cousins, and strong defense down the stretch helped the Bulls head into halftime tied at 33-33 in the programs’ first-ever meeting.

 

Nehemias Morillo scored four points during a 12-0 run that put the Bulls ahead, 18-11, seven minutes into the action. Albany took the lead back with a 10-2 run and Evan Singletary’s free throws extended the Great Danes’ advantage to 27-20 with 5:42remaining in the half.

 

“We didn’t give in at all when they made their runs,” Nunez said.

 

USF outscored Albany, 13-6, down the stretch with seven points coming from Nunez, who had a team-high nine points at the half. Cousins was up to eight points and eight rebounds after posting a career-high 14 points and 12 rebounds against Boston University the last time out on Nov. 21.

 

“I can’t say how proud I am of (Jaleel) for him to commit to changing his body, to getting himself into great shape and to be able to play 35 minutes,” Antigua said. “He put the time in and he committed to doing it, and I’m really happy for him.”

 

Albany went more than six minutes without a field goal late in the first half and tied things up just before the buzzer with a 3-pointer from Ray Sanders.

 

The Great Danes jumped out to a 53-45 lead in the first 10 minutes of the second half before the Bulls came roaring back once again.

 

Bo Zeigler’s free throws forced the 10th tie of the game with 5:17 remaining and the lead changed hands four times leading up to the wild finish in the final seconds. Down 61-60, Peters tried to feed the ball inside to Cousins and the deflected pass wound up right in front of Perry, who put down a thunderous dunk with a hand in his face.

 

“It was just reaction. The ball just bounced right in front of me, I took two steps and that was it,” said Perry, who finished with eight points.

 

Albany’s desperation shot at the end didn’t come close as USF played lockdown defense to seal a very valuable win for the program. USF had the lead in three of its first four games and put together the complete team performance Antigua has been looking for since the opener.

 

“They stayed within the system, they didn’t break away from the stuff we were trying to do. They kept moving the ball. They kept trying to find guys,” Antigua said. “We grew as a team.”

 

Up next for USF is a battle with top-ranked Kentucky 5 p.m. Friday at the Hoophall Miami Invitational. It will be a reunion of sorts for Antigua, who spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Kentucky under John Calipari before becoming a Bull. 

 

“I obviously have a lot of great respect for that program, and for Cal and the staff and the players there. But that’s all the personal stuff,” Antigua said. “For us, it’s another opportunity to go out and compete against a good team to see how we can continue to grow and mature.”

 

Antigua’s players will definitely be ready to give it their all.

 

“This opportunity is once in a lifetime, going up against some guys that are supposed to be the best,” Perry said. “Going out there and just playing our hearts out, that’s all we can do.”

 

Following the Kentucky test, USF returns to the Sun Dome to host Savannah State on Sunday at 2 p.m. Reserve your seats at USFBullsTix.com.

 

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This was an Important win for USF MBB to give them some confidence moving forward.

“This opportunity is once in a lifetime, going up against some guys that are supposed to be the best,” Perry said. “Going out there and just playing our hearts out, that’s all we can do.”

We really can't expect any more from them than that.

 

 

 

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This was an Important win for USF MBB to give them some confidence moving forward.

“This opportunity is once in a lifetime, going up against some guys that are supposed to be the best,” Perry said.Going out there and just playing our hearts out, that’s all we can do.”

We really can't expect any more from them than that.

And conicidently, last night, sitting there, was the first time I actually felt they did that .... and it showed up particularly on the defensive end.

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