USF Takes on No. 11 Louisville Tuesday Night

By Amanda Borges
Assistant Digital Editor

USF will play its eighth ranked opponent of the season on Tuesday when it takes on No. 11 Louisville at 7 p.m. inside the KFC Yum! Center.

The last time the Bulls (12-14, 3-10 The American) beat a ranked team was in Louisville, a 58-51 win over the No. 19 Cardinals on Feb. 29, 2012. It will be the final regular season conference meeting between the two schools as the Cardinals leave the American Athletic Conference for the Atlantic Coast Conference beginning next fall.

The defending national champions have been impressive at home, sporting a 10-2 record, while the Bulls are currently 5-4 on the road after starting 4-0.

The Cardinals (21-4, 10-2 The American) have won 10 of their last 12 games including a 102-54 win against Rutgers on Sunday. Tuesday’s game will be Louisville’s third in five days after going nine days without competition. Senior guard Russ Smith leads the team with 17.7 points and 4.6 assists per game.

The Cardinals lead the all-time series 28-4 including a 14-2 record in Louisville. Louisville has won three straight in the series and defeated the Bulls 86-47 in Tampa earlier this season.

A layup by Isaiah Sykes with 1.8 seconds remaining gave UCF a 75-74 win over USF in front 5,294 fans Saturday at the Sun Dome. Sykes scored 21 of his game-high 27 points in the second half to erase a four-point deficit at the half. Martino Brock and Victor Rudd led the scoring for the Bulls with 21 points each.

When USF scored 54 points in the paint at UCF, it was the most since recording 54 on Feb. 27, 2010 in a 99-93 win by the Bulls. When USF defeated SMU 78-71 on Jan. 28, it was the first time the Mustang’s had been outscored in the paint all season (38-28). The Bulls have outscored their opponents down low 878-731 on the season.

USF has had four plays on the SportsCenter Top 10 this season, the latest was a one-handed alley-oop dunk against UCF on Feb. 15 which was the No. 1 play that night on ESPN. The pass was from fellow senior Martino Brock. It was the second No. 1 play by Rudd in as many weeks as one week earlier, Rudd threw down a one-handed dunk against Rutgers on Feb. 8 which was the No. 1 play that night on ESPN. The first two were during USF’s three-game nail-biting win streak and both to break ties.

The first was a 10-foot shot by Corey Allen Jr to break a tie with 2.5 seconds remaining in a 68-66 win at George Mason which was the No. 6 play on Dec. 4. The second was an alley-oop pass from Anthony Collins to Victor Rudd from between the half-court and three-point lines to give USF a 55-53 lead with 52 seconds remaining in regulation, the No. 2 play on Dec. 17. USF won the game 68-66 in double-overtime.

USF has seven days away from competition before hosting No. 21 UConn on Wednesday Feb. 26 at 7 p.m.

SOURCE: USF Athletics

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