TAMPA, Fla. —- The music began, the stage lights came up and so did the curtain for the 2013-14 edition of the University of South Florida basketball season hit the stage.
University of South Florida basketball coach Stan Heath waited for a long time, to roll out a new team, with a new attitude and he is hoping the results are more wins this basketball season.
Heath introduced his new team to the home crowd and he especially welcomed Chris Perry to all of the good folks that watched the game and witnessed the 72-62, win against Tennessee Tech University.
“Man I am glad that the first one is behind us and it is a good win,” Heath said after the game. “Tennessee Tech did a good job, they we’re aggressive, they made some adjustments and they exploited some things that we got to get better at, especially late game situations.”
Perry made himself right at home inside the Sun Dome by scoring 14 points and helping Heath and his team to the first win of the season.
“I played all right, I could have rebounded more and I need to get better with my foul,” Perry said about his first official NCAA college game. “It felt awesome, I loved it, I can’t wait till we get to the games were there is like a whole bunch of people. All the screaming people that you see on TV. I can’t wait until I experience that. I was nervous before the game especially last game.”
Bulls’ power forward Victor Rudd led the Bulls offense by scoring 23 points, freshman center John Egbunu chipped in with seven points and seven rebounds
“We need these type of games early were tested and we battled through,” Rudd said. “We got the win. It was a good experience for us.”
The speed of the Bulls forced the Golden Eagles to commit 27 fouls and sending the Bulls to the free throw line 40 times but the points from the line did not come easy.
The Bulls only could shoot 62.5 percent from the line but luckily for the Bulls the Golden Eagles could not shoot any better from the line.
Tennessee Tech University went to the line 22 times and shot 54.5 percent from the free throw line.
“I saw some things that we got to get a lot better and I saw some things that I was really pleased at, I thought that we created a pretty good pace for us,” Heath said. “We could have made the game a little easier for us if we would have finished in transition in the first half and made some free throws we could have had a 18 or 20 point lead but we didn’t.”
Tennessee Tech University basketball coach Steve Payne said after the game that he would have felt better if his team could have got a win but he thought that his team did play hard and it was not an award winning display of free throws from both teams.
“I am pleased with the effort, we played a lot of guys,” Payne said. “I thought that our zone bother them our zone is not the same as everybody else but they made the adjustments and Rudd is a good player.”
University of South Florida defense collapsed under the basket and clogged up the baseline and forced the Golden Eagles into shooting 36.7 percent from the floor.
Golden Eagles’ guard Ty Allen led all scores in the game by finishing with 25 points.
It was not a pretty game or was it a show stopper but as all coaches would say including Heath, an ugly win is a whole lot better than a pretty lost.
The second game of the season for the Bulls will be played at home inside the Sun Dome, Tuesday night, Nov. 12 against Bethune-Cookman University, the tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.