NEW YORK – The South Florida Bulls defeated the Villanova Wildcats 56-47, in a very physical, defensive game on Wednesday night. The Wildcats came into the second round of the Big East tournament looking for another win, following their upset victory over Rutgers. However, the Wildcats started slow and struggled against the Bulls’ defense all night long.
Villanova went 6-for-26 on field goal attempts, and did not make a single three pointer on seven attempts during the first half. They were not only missing the basket, but their mistakes caused them to take low percentage shots. Most of the misses were due to minor errors, such as the inability to create enough space between the Bulls’ defenders.
The Bulls were able to spread the ball around the court; Anthony Collins and Victor Rudd Jr. led the team in scoring, collecting 17 and 13 points, respectively. Mouphtaou Yarou carried Villanova with a total of 20 points, while no other Wildcat scored in double-figures. The low scoring game was just another display of the South Florida Bulls’ defensive prowess. The victory over the Wildcats marks the ninth straight win for the Bulls, where the opposing team has scored under 60 points.
As South Florida moves forward in the Big East tournament, their next matchup is sure to be a tough one against three-seed Notre Dame. If the Bulls expect to keep winning, they need to find a way to eliminate turnovers. Against Villanova on Wednesday, the Bulls racked up more turnovers than field goals (17 TOs, 16 FGs). The tournament atmosphere should prove to be a motivating factor for each team, as the Bulls’ attempt to add to their résumé in hopes of receiving a NCAA tournament bid.