December 2008


At times, it seemed more like Devon Clarke vs. Dominique Jones, rather than Iona vs. South Florida on Saturday night. If that’s the case, Jones certainly took the cake in this battle.

Jones scored a career high 36 points, leading USF to a 68-55 win over the Iona Gaels on at the Sun Dome.

Jones, a sophomore, was 12-of-16 from the field, 7-of-9 from three point range and 5-of-6 from the stripe.

“It just felt good out there,” Jones said. “I kind of felt like my old self again … I’m just trying to get my confidence back because I know my team needs me.”

Jones broke his previous career high of 31 with a three point shot from the top of the key with just over five minutes left in the game. The shot also gave the Bulls a 59-50 lead, their largest of the game at that time.

Freshman Justin Leemow, who made his first career start for USF, extended that lead to 11, just minutes later, with a three pointer to make it 62-51, seemingly putting the game out of reach.

It wasn’t necessarily smooth sailing for the Bulls, considering the second half alone saw four lead changes.The Gaels even led early in the second half despite trailing 34-29 at halftime.

Iona forward Devon Clarke was causing problems all night. Clarke scored 16 points, more than double his season average.

It has been rough sledding (excuse my holiday reference) for USF in the past couple weeks and wins are coming sparingly. The Bulls dropped two games out of three in Puerto Rico last weekend, and Coach Stan Heath said this win was especially encouraging.

“Physcolgically it’s huge for all of us, our team, our players and our coaches,” he said. “When we work out we’re in a P—- mood, just mad all the time, so it’s kind of good to maybe have a little bit of a smile on your face.”

The Bulls saw improvement in two key areas that they’ve struggled with this season. Coming into the game, USF was shooting 29 percent from behind the arc and 56 percent from the free throw line. On Saturday night, however, USF went 10-for-20 from three point range and 12-of-16 from the stripe.

South Florida will begin Big East play on Friday when they host Syracuse at the Sun Dome. Jones said the Big East conference is something he’s looking forward to playing on a regular basis.

“It seems like it’s going to be a really big challenge, but I think if we can stick together and play hard, then we can suprise a lot of people,” he said.

At times, it seemed more like Devon Clarke vs. Dominique Jones rather than Iona vs. South Florida. If that’s the case, Jones certainly took the cake in this battle.

Jones scored a career high 36 points and led USF to a 68-55 win over the Iona Gaels on Saturday night at the Sun Dome.

Jones, a sophomore, was 12-of-16 from the field, seven-of-nine from three point range and five-of-six from the stripe.

Game story to follow soon …

-K.K.

I’m no genius, however, it seems to meĀ  the South Florida basketball teams’ troubles seem more clear after the first half of tonight’s game.

No, not because the Bulls are repeating the things that have hurt them all year, rather the turnaround in the two areas that have hurt them most this season.

USF is shooting 50 percent from three point range and is six-of-six from the free throw line, holding a 34-29 lead over the Iona Gaels at the Sun Dome.

On the season, the Bulls are a horrendous 29 percent from 3-point range and 56 percent from the free throw line.

USF is led by sophomore guard Dominque Jones, who is 3-of-4 from behind the arc and has 17 points. Jones, who is second on the team in scoring, went on a 8-0 last minute run. However, Iona’s Scott Machado, who has eight points and four assists, hit a layup as the buzzer sounded to end the half.

There was a new face in the USF starting lineup. Freshman guard Justin Leemow got his first career start in place of the injured transfer Mike Mercer. Mercer is out tonight with a knee injury. However, it hasn’t been the starting debut that Leemow had probably hoped for. He has zero points and only one assist in 12 minutes of play.

Welp, I’m off to polish off some brownies.

-K.K.

Greetings folks …

I hope everyone had a nice holiday break. I know I sure did. I’m still recovering from the mounds of turkey, seafood buffets and days at the beach … it’s a rough life.

Anyways, i’m sure you all are just eager to get back to business as we are (unfortunately) almost ready to get back to school.

I’ll be in attendance at tonight’s USF-Iona men’s basketball game at the Sun Dome. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. so get your minds set on a story to follow soon afterwards with reaction.

This is the last non conference game for the 4-7 Bulls as they’ll host a tough first Big East game against Syracuse this Friday. Perhaps USF can capture some of that Cleveland State magic. We’ll see. Youtube that shot if you haven’t seen it.

I’m out though. I’ll see you guys on here tonight after the game.

-K.K.

Greetings folks…

I’m taking a break for the holiday from coverage and posting. I plan on returning next weekend.

Hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable week.

On behalf of the sports desk.

Happy Holidays

-K.K.

Get the party started.

If this game can be considered important enough for a celebration, then it will be USF that will be doing the celebrating. Junior Mo Plancher just took a two yard rush into the end zone to make it 41-14 here at Tropicana Field.

Senior Grant Gregory actually manned the USF offense – which has been firing on all cylinders all day – on the scoring drive with 12:40 remaining. Most of the seniors, you would assume, will be in now as it’s their last game as USF athletes.

I’m sure we’ll get some reaction from them after the game.

41-14 with 12:40 remaining.

The Live Blog is finished for the day. I’ll be heading down to the field soon. I’m sure there won’t be much news after this.

Thanks for joining us today, and visit http://www.usforacle.com for the game story shortly after the game.

-K.K.

Dontavia Bogan got himself into the offensive party the Bulls are putting on in St. Petersburg this afternoon.

Grothe connected with Bogan on a 24 yard touchdown throw – it’s Grothe’s third today – to increase the USF lead to 34-14 with 1:50 to play in the third quarter.

It’s been the USF offense that has stolen the show, as the Bulls have 403 yards total offense, with 252 of those through the air.

Connecting the events of this game, Bogan started the game with a 56 yard kickoff return.

Sitting next to Joe Rienzi, I ask the question “is this game over?”

J.R.: “Yes”

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