USF stumbles down stretch in loss to ODU
UNCASVILLE, Conn. - After leading much of the game, the University of South Florida couldn't get a bounce when it mattered most. Augustus Gilchrist missed a turnaround in the lane with 6 seconds left in overtime and Victor Rudd Jr.'s desperation half-court shot at the buzzer bounced off the rim as Old Dominion rallied for a 68-66 win over the Bulls in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament on Saturday. "I was praying," USF coach Stan Heath said. "Just one more inch, maybe it gets past that front rim. But it just didn't go. It's just one of those days where we were a little bit short on getting what we need to get done." Gilchrist led USF with 18 points and Rudd had 16, but neither could prevent the Bulls from suffering their first loss of the season after a 3-0 start.Old Dominion's Kent Bazemore, recovering from August foot surgery, came off the bench to lead the Monarchs with 23 points and nine rebounds. Bazemore, the preseason player of the year in the Colonial Athletic Association, scored 16 points after halftime for Old Dominion (3-1), which trailed for much of the game. "I'm at a point now where I'm just trying to build stamina, so to speak, from my injury," Bazemore said. "The bone has healed a lot but it's taken back-to-back games, the practices, four games in 10 days." The Monarchs led 63-60 when USF's Shaun Noriega hit a 3-pointer with 5 seconds remaining to tie the game and send it into overtime. The Bulls led most of the second half before a 3-pointer from Bazemore put Old Dominion ahead with 6:10 left, part of a 15-4 run that gave the Monarchs a 56-51 lead with just over 41/2 minutes left in regulation. Gilchrist opened the overtime with a bucket to put the Bulls up 65-63, but that would be South Florida's only field goal in OT. South Florida opened the game on a 15-4 run, capped by a jumper from Gilchrist. But the Bulls had just one field goal over the next 10 minutes and the Monarchs fought their way back. Dimitri Batten added 12 points and Chris Cooper had 10 for Old Dominion, which won its third straight after a season-opening loss to Northern Iowa. South Florida has not opened a season 4-0 since 2006-07.