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USF Falls Behind Early, Loses at Seton Hall


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Web Link: http://www.gousfbulls.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=7700&ATCLID=210595336



USF Falls Behind Early, Loses at Seton Hall

The Bulls return home on Dec. 30 to open up conference play against Houston


NEWARK, N.J., DEC. 22, 2015 – Senior forward Angel Nunez scored a season-high 19 points in USF’s 66-49 loss at Seton Hall in the Prudential Center on Tuesday.

The transfer from Gonzaga was 9-of-16 from the field and recorded his third consecutive game with at least 10 points. He also added eight rebounds to help USF (3-10) win the rebounding battle 40-39.

“I thought Angel improved on getting into the lane, making a couple of jump stops,” said head coach Orlando Antigua. “He did a good job of using his size above those guys who were playing him. That’s a big positive for him.”

USF missed its first nine shots of the game and trailed 14-0 just over six minutes into the game. A McMurray 3-pointer at the 9:59 mark gave the Bulls their first points of the game. It was the first of six made shots in nine attempts. After the scoreless drought, USF held its own in the first half, being outscored by just three points, 19-16. The Bulls trailed 22-19 at halftime.

“We are trying to go inside and we are trying to get to the free throw line, but it’s hard,” said Antigua. “It’s hard to give any team that kind of a lead and expect to win the game. Once we settled down, we had three turnovers the rest of the half and in the second half we only had six turnovers. That’s the game right there. We can never get out of the hole we put ourselves in.”

With a lower turnover count and solid play off the bench from Luis Santos and Bo Zeigler, the Bulls got to within 12 points, 56-44, with 4:50 left in the game. Santos finished with eight points, all free throws, and eight rebounds in 11 minutes of play, all career highs for the freshman out of Bronx, N.Y.

“Rebounding is passion and desire. That’s internal,” said Antigua. “That’s not something a coach gives you. Luis came in and we didn’t run one play for him. He just threw his body in there and got it. He got fouled and made his free throws.”

Zeigler, who exited the game with a bloody nose in the first half, was a big spark off the bench with four points, three rebounds and two blocks. Both Zeigler and Santos filled the void of Jaleel Cousins and Chris Perry who had an off night, combining for three points. Overall, the Bulls had 15 turnovers compared to eight for the Pirates.

“Seton Hall had a game plan,” said Antigua. “Jaleel and Chris have to understand that they are going to get double-teamed now because they are big and effective and we are going to have a size advantage going into most games and teams are going to try and take that away from us.

Freshman guard Jahmal McMurray recorded his 12th double-digit scoring game with 10 points to go with five rebounds and five assists, which tied his season high.

USF’s defense held a Seton Hall team that entered the game averaging a 74.5 points per game to 66 points. The Pirates, which just came off an impressive win over Wichita State, improved to 10-2 after winning its fifth consecutive game.

USF returns home on Dec. 30 for a 2 p.m. game against Houston to open up American Athletic Conference play.

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Good headlining there...makes it sound like the reason we lost was an unfortunate "falling behind" early.  Just a little sluggish after the travel north, that's all!

Hope COA can get these guys clicking enough to at least get meaningful reps in conference and not lose by double digits every night.  Otherwise this headline may get overused real quick.

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