USF men’s basketball completes season sweep of ECU
08/02/2023 | 7:00 p.m.
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February 08 (Wednesday) / 7:00 p.m.
TAMPA (February 1, 2023) – The University of South Florida Bulls (10-13, 3-7 AAC) built a 14-point halftime lead over ECU 11-12 (2-8 AAC) Wednesday night at the Yuengling Center and prevailed with a 71-63 triumph to sweep the Pirates’ season series.
The evening also included a celebration and the return of Arthur Jones (1971-74), who was the first African-American student-athlete in USF history. Jones and his family shared a pregame meal with the team, the Bulls wore warm-up shirts with Jones’ name and number 24 on the back, and honored him at halftime with a letterman jacket, as well as a rendition of “Happy Birthday” for him and his mother who share the special day.
“We’ve had a lot of great moments in the history of this program, but bringing Arthur back and having him spend time with our players and sharing his story is really powerful,” said head coach Brian Gregory.
Current South Florida No. 24 in the field, Jamir Chaplin, tied a career high with 17 points in the victory. Tyler Harris had 21 points and Russel Tchewa had his fifth double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
It was a 13-point halftime run that gave the Bulls a 44-30 advantage at the break. USF extended that point streak to 17 unanswered in the opening minutes of the second half as Chaplin scored the first nine points of the new period for the Bulls.
South Florida held a double-digit lead until the 1:08 mark of the second half before the pesky Pirates suddenly cut their deficit to 68-61 in the final minute of play, but the Bulls were able to secure the victory with a big defense. stops and engages the free throws until the final whistle.
“We played 30 minutes of really good basketball,” Gregory said. “We had some turnovers in the first few minutes and we lost our concentration a bit in the last minutes of the game, but we made enough plays to get the job done. I think we played with good energy and activity, and we really moved the ball well on the attacking end at the end of the first half. It’s a good win for us, but we still have a lot of room for improvement.
Corey Walker Jr. had a season-high nine rebounds for the second straight game and had three best blocks of the season, including one late in the game as ECU staged its frantic rally.
Harris went 5-for-10 from downtown for the second straight game, and is just three three-pointers away from setting a new AAC career high (265 – Christian Vital, UConn, 2016-20); 19 shy of a new USF single-season record (88 – Derrick Sharp, 1991-92). Harris has recorded seven 20-point games this season and knocked down at least five three-pointers nine times. Tchewa had his fifth double-double in the last 11 games (eighth in career). Selton Miguel tied a season high with six assists (fourth time). Freshman Ryan Conwell had seven points and three assists.
The Bulls will be out until next Wednesday, Feb. 8, when the Memphis Tigers travel to Tampa for a 7 p.m. game.
Tickets are on sale now. Fans are encouraged to visit USFBullsTix.com or call 1-800-Go-Bulls to purchase tickets.
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About USF Men’s Basketball
The USF men’s basketball team is led by head coach Brian Gregory, entering his sixth season in 2022-23. Gregory was introduced as the 10th head coach in program history in March 2017 after leading programs at Georgia Tech (2011-16) and Dayton (2003-11). Gregory spent nearly a decade as an assistant coach under Michigan State Hall of Fame head coach Tom Izzo and helped the Spartans win the NCAA National Championship in 2000 Gregory boasts over 300 career head coaching wins and six playoff appearances, including the 2010 NIT Championship with Dayton. In his second season in charge of the Bulls, Gregory led the team to the NCAA’s best win turnover, the most single-season wins in school history, and the 2019 College Basketball Invitational championship.
USF retired three numbers from its history: Chucky Atkins (12), Charlie Bradley (30) and Radenko Dobras (31). The Bulls have earned three NCAA Tournament bids, appeared in the NIT eight times and won the 2019 College Basketball Invitational.
For tickets, contact the USF Box Office at 1-800-Go-Bulls or by going online at USFBulsTix.com.
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