Big East brawl pits Bulls against Orange
Syracuse, NY – The South Florida Bulls will take their four- ranked Syracuse Orange in a Big East Conference battle.
The Bulls and Syracuse have met nine times in the past, and the Orange hold a 8-1 lead in the all-time series. Syracuse is a perfect 5-0 against USF at the Carrier Dome.
USF comes in with a 17-10 overall record and has already set a new program record for wins in Big East action with its 10-4 league record. The Bulls extended their current winning streak to four games on Sunday in their 56-47 victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers. Head coach Stan Heath had to be pleased with his team's defensive performance, as it held the Panthers to a season-low 47 points and held Pitt's stars Tray Woodall and Ashton Gibbs to two points each. USF has the lowest scoring defense in the Big East, with an allowed average of just 58.2 ppg. However, the Bulls are also ranked last in scoring offense as they net only 61.1 ppg.
Augustus Gilchrist is leading the balanced Bulls with a scoring average of 10.5 ppg. Victor Rudd, Jawanza Poland, Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, and Ron Anderson Jr. are all steady contributors for USF as well. Fitzpatrick is leading the team with 6.5 rpg. Anthony Collins had a breakout performance against Pittsburgh on Sunday, as he scored a career-high 22 points and handed out six assists. The freshman guard has been a superb distributor as of late, as he has handed out six assists or more in six-straight games.
Syracuse extended its winning streak to seven games on Sunday as it escaped its road tilt versus Rutgers with a 74-64 victory. Jim Boeheim has led his team to sole possession of first place in the Big East as it has a 13-1 record in league play. Syracuse managed to hit 50 percent of its shots from the floor to power past the Scarlet Knights. The Orange's only loss this season was to Notre Dame, which they played without their center Fab Melo. Syracuse leads the league in scoring with an average of 76.8 ppg, and has held its opponents to 60.8 ppg.
The Orange have had all their success come this season through a total team effort. There is not any player on Syracuse with overwhelming statistics, but the team's play as a solidified unit has led to superb results. Kris Joseph leads Syracuse in scoring with 14.0 ppg on 44.1 percent shooting. The senior forward went 5-of-10 from the floor to score 14 points time out as he helped his team past Rutgers. Dion Waiters averages a second-best 12.0 ppg, while Brandon Triche chips in 9.4 ppg. Scoop Jardine controls the offense for the Orange and leads it with 5.0 assists per contest. Melo anchors the patented 2-3 zone with 3.0 blocks per game. C.J. Fair had a big performance off the bench against Rutgers, as he had team-highs of 21 points and grabbed eight boards.