January 2009

South Florida not only showed its will to survive a late comeback by Rutgers, but to also pull off the programs first win over the Scarlet Knights in a 59-56 upset victory on Saturday at the RAC.

“It was a big win for us,” USF coach Jose Fernandez said. “I was real happy with how our team played.”

Senior guard Shantia Grace’s layup with seven seconds left sealed the win and shocked the 3,821 in attendance.

The Bulls led by 19 with six minutes left in the game. However, a tough Rutgers defense allowed a 17-2 Scarlet Knights run to tie it at 56-56 with less than a minute to play.

“They pressured us real hard,” South Florida guard Janae Stokes said. “They just pressured us, and in those last 4 minutes we kind of panicked a little bit.”

Stokes showed little sign of panic — scoring 20 points and hitting six three-point shots. Stokes said that it was exciting to win against such a prestigious team.

“It’s a fantastic feeling,” she said. “It feels great to be able to come here and beat a top 25 quality team.”

USF (16-6, 3-5) turned the ball over 19 times and went to the free throw line 10 times. Fernandez said it was his own team that allowed the late comeback.

“We just didn’t take care of the ball, and we didn’t make free throws down the stretch,” he said.

The Bulls did, however, play good defense.

Rutgers (12-7, 4-4) were held to 32.8 shooting from the field and were outrebounded 35-28 by USF.

The Bulls played in the absence of freshman guard Jasmine Wynne, who suffered a twisted ankle against Georgetown. Fernandez said the team did a great job of filling in that loss.

“It gave the other kids a great chance to step up,” he said. “Folks like [Melissa] Dalembert and [Allyson] Speed all contributed.”

-Alex Cobb, Correspondent



This photo was passed along to me …

I can’t quite make out who that is for the AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, but it seems while they were on campus they were doing some extra reading.

They were reading the Oracle, of course. I wrote a commentary on Super Bowl media day that day’s paper (at least that’s what I think. It’s kind of blurry).

Now, what does this all mean? Well, it means I know who I’m picking to win Sunday’s big game…..
Have a safe weekend.


Signing day is almost upon us, and USF picked up another big time recruit.

USFBullsEYE.com reported Wednesday that JUCO defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul verbally committed.

Pierre-Paul, 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, is a four-star caliber and picked USF over Arizona, Kansas State and Nebraska.

Tack him along with Armwood touted defensive end Ryne Giddins and George Selvie should have plenty of talented backup in the fall.
Als0, both the Times and Tribune reported that Grant Gregory, former offensive coordinator Greg Gregory’s son, will transfer from USF after receiving a sixth year of eligibility.


1. Louisville (15-3, 6-0), 182 points (5 first-place votes)
The anti-Georgetown: A team which people thought may have chemistry issues has put aside early season struggles and really come together. — Bailey Heaps, The Hoya

2. Pittsburgh (18-1, 6-1), 173 points (3)
If Levance Fields took a tumble on the court, would he roll like a bowling ball and knock over everyone in his path? — Matthew Stein, The Daily Targum

3. Marquette (18-2, 7-0), 171 points (2)
Buzz Williams for national coach of the year? — Kyle Austin, The Daily Orange

4. Connecticut (18-1, 7-1), 170 points (2)
This team will be the new national No. 1 next week after Duke loses to Wake Forest. — Giuseppe Barone, The Setonian

5. Syracuse (17-4, 5-3), 141 points
1-3 over the last four doesn’t usually mean you’re a top 25 team, but in the Big East, rules don’t apply. — Tony Dobies, The Daily Athenaeum

6. Villanova (15-4, 3-3), 119 points
Still doing well despite Scottie Reynold’s nowhere-to-be-found play. — Kerry Klecic, The Oracle

7. West Virginia (14-5, 3-3), 111 points

8. Providence (13-6, 5-2), 108 points
With Syracuse and UConn up next, we will finally find out if the Friars are any good.
— David Cassilo, The Villanovan

9. Georgetown (12-6, 3-4), 107 points
Two words: Seton Hall. Really? — Catherine LaRoche, The Louisville Cardinal

10. Notre Dame (12-7, 3-5), 93 points
In big trouble. — Mike Gladysz, The Pitt News

11. Cincinnati (13-7, 3-4), 76 points
Mike Williams is beginning to emerge as a second option behind Deonta Vaughn after averaging 17.6 points in his last five games. — Bo Jessee/Pete Marx, The News Record

12. St. John’s (11-8, 2-5), 53 points

13. Seton Hall (10-9, 1-6), 51 points
Bobby Gonzalez is a great coach, now if only he could recruit… — Stein

14. South Florida (7-12, 2-5), 40 points

15. Rutgers (9-11, 0-7), 23 points
Fred Hill is a great recruiter, now if only he could coach… — Stein

16. DePaul (8-12, 0-7), 14 points
You know it’s bad when USF does the double on you. — Klecic


Greetings folks …
Just wanted to leave my apologies about not posting on here in the last couple days extensively. I’ve been doing some coverage for the Super Bowl.

I spent most of today lost in the frenzy that is Super Bowl media day. How it is very fun and rewarding, it is also tiring.

I did a story in yesterday’s paper about the impact of having the AFC Champions here on campus for practice this week. Check it out here.

Stay tuned for my commentary in tomorrow’s issue about my experience at media day!


We’ll have plenty more on this story in tomorrow’s paper…

Junior guard Mike Mercer has been dismissed from the program, men’s basketball coach Stan Heath announced Monday.

Mercer and teammate Anthony Crater were arrested late Friday night on charges of misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Mercer was arrested in Septemeber for public consumption of alcohol. This is Crater’s first offense, and he has been placed on “probationary status.”


Compliments of correspondent Joel Leventhal …

The South Florida women’s tennis team ended up on the wrong end of a 4-3 match result against No. 49 ranked New Mexico on Saturday.

In doubles play, USF juniors Lauren Shumate and Allyn Muller defeated the Lobos’ Anya Villanueva-Forte and Ashley Bonner 8-4.

That would be the Bulls’ only doubles victory all day. Jessica Sweeting and Natalia Guevara lost a close match while Jessica Zok and Iciri Rai fell 9-8 to Maria Sotirchos and Ola Abou-Zekry.

In singles play, Rai and Muller each lost close matches to Emma Hayman and Maria Sotirchos respectively.  Natalia Guevara avenged her defeat in doubles earlier by defeating Manumea Durie in straight sets, 6-4 and 6-4.  Lauren Shumate continued her stellar play by coming out victorious 6-1 and 6-1 against Ashley Bonner.

As this is USF’s first official match, the Bulls are 0-1 on the year.

USF will travel to Gainesville to take on the University of Florida on Feb. 4 before returning home to play the opener against Furman on Feb. 13.

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