TAMPA, Fla. -- Toarlyn Fitzpatrick scored 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, leading South Florida to a 68-55 victory over Florida Atlantic Saturday night.
Ron Anderson Jr. added 14 points and 12 rebounds for South Florida (5-2), undefeated in five home games.The phrase "home games" is a relative one for USF, as they are playing them away from their usual home at the Sun Dome on campus while it undergoes major renovations during the season. Tonight's game was played at the University of Tampa and the Bulls also play home games at the St. Pete Times Forum -- home of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning.Anthony Collins and Victor Rudd Jr. added 12 and 11 points, respectively, for USF.Collins, a freshman playing only his second game, impressed Bulls coach Stan Heath."The game really took a different turn when he came in there," Heath said. "Some of the plays he makes create an extra excitement for your teammates -- that lifts them up, too."Freshman guard Omari Grier hit 6 of 13 shots from beyond the arc -- five in the second half -- and finished with 20 points to lead Florida Atlantic (3-4). Pablo Bertone added 11 for Owls."I'm a little disappointed. He should have probably had 10 3s because every one of them was wide open, just about," FAU coach Mike Jarvis said of Grier. "We had a ton of open shots. You've got to make them."South Florida trailed midway through the first half before a 17-2 run put the Bulls ahead 31-20. They led 39-23 at the break, then took their biggest lead early in the second half at 47-25.FAU immediately responded with a 23-10 run capped by a 3-pointer that cut the deficit to 57-48 with 5 minutes to go. The Owls outscored the Bulls 30-27 in the second half, but it wasn't enough.South Florida avenged its only defeat in 13 games in its series against FAU -- a 50-42 road loss last season."Obviously, we left with a sour taste from last year, and we wanted to play well," Heath said.South Florida senior forward Augustus Gilchrist, 45 career points shy of 1,000, missed his second straight game with an injured shoulder.