NEW ORLEANS — It didn’t matter what University of South Florida interim coach Murray Bartow tried, the Bulls could not find the answer, Saturday afternoon inside the historic Devlin Fieldhouse at the Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the shadow of downtown New Orleans.
Tulane University started the Mardi-Gras celebration early with a convincing 94-71, win against the University of South Florida that keeps the Bulls firmly locked in the cellar of the American Athletic Conference.
The Green Wave provided plenty of offense that the Bulls could not contain with their defense, as six Green Wave players finished the game in double figures including the blistering shooting of the Green Wave’s guard Melvin Frazier.
Bartow and his crew watched as Frazier shot an incredible 10-of-11 from the floor, that is shooting 90 percent. Frazier ended the afternoon with 27 points, three rebounds and the only blemish of the day is that Frazier made five turnovers.
There were plenty of other contributors for the Green Wave against the Bulls. Cameron Reynolds added 17 points, Ryan Smith threw in 12 points for good measure, Ray Ona Embo and Kain Harris both scored 11 points and ending the scoring parade for the Green Waves, Malik Morgan scored 10 points.
Tulane University found the way to the basket a journey without any complication and when the game was over there was a brief memorial ceremony for the nets that were burned to a complete crisp.
Tulane University basketball coach Mike Dunleavy had to wash the ash and soot off him after the game.
The Green Wave shot an incredible 66 percent for the game, in fact they did not shoot under 60 percent for the entire game. Tulane University made 12 three-pointers, including seven in the first half.
“It’s frustrating! It is a game of shooting percentages and usually the team that shoots better wins,” Bartow said. “They shot 66 percent a lot better than we did.”
It is not that Bulls shot all that badly, they finished the game shooting a respectable 42 percent from the floor but 42 percent is not larger than 66 percent.
USF junior guard Geno Thorpe led the Bulls with 22 points but it was forward Luis Santos that had a perfect game shooting 7-of-7 from the floor and then he made two trips to the free throw line and made them both and finishing the game with his sixth game in double figures.
“Luis gave heart and soul,” Bartow said about Santos after the game. “He has a mean streak in him when he is on the court. He was fantastic.”
Helping Thorpe and Santos, starting power forward Tulio Da Silva did his best to keep the Bulls a float against the Green Waves he scored the first eight points for the Bulls and finished the game with 17 points, nine rebounds.
The road trip continues for the University of South Florida, Thursday night Feb. 23 as the Bulls head for a show down against Tulsa University inside the David W. Reynolds Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Bartow will be hoping that his team can put this one against Tulane University way behind them, know that not every team can shoot 66 percent against them every night and someday the answers are easier to find.
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.