Bulls Pull Away From Cavs To Win 66-49 In Home Opener

Tampa, FL - Dominique Jones had 22 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals Monday night to lead the University of South Florida to a 66-49 victory over cold-shooting Virginia.

"That was a good win for our program, I thought we played hard and they played hard. I thought down the stretch we were a little fresher, I thought that our defense really picked up as the game went on and I thought that we had a really good balance of inside and outside," USF head coach, Stan Heath said.

The Bulls hosted Virginia on Monday as part of a USF basketball double header with the women’s basketball team, and avenged their loss to the Cavaliers from a year ago.

“It's an ACC school, it's a school with credibility, they returned a lot of players from last season. It was a game that kind of got away from us last year. They have a pretty good name in college basketball," Heath said

Sophomore guard Justin Leemow was the first reserve to score in the 2009-10 season, collecting nine points for the night, which ties a career high.

"Coming into my sophomore year I'm a lot more confident, I have a year under my belt, I know what to expect with the college tempo and how fast it is, last year I was in a hurry a lot of the time," Leemow said.

Junior Dominique Jones scored 13 points in the first half, which tied his game total at SMU. He ended the night with 20 points against Virginia, which was the high scoring total for the game.

The Bulls (2-0) began the second half with a 17-5 run to take a 48-32 lead with 14 minutes remaining in the game. The closest Virginia (1-1) got the rest of the way was 10 points. The Cavaliers were held to one field goal in the final seven minutes.

Augustus Gilchrist had 18 points for USF and Jarrid Famous finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.

Sylven Landesberg had 14 points to lead Virginia, which shot just under 33 percent (17 of 52).

Virginia got the scoring started with a two-point bucket in the first minute of play.

With 5:57 remaining in the first half, Leemow missed a layup, and Gilchrist grabbed the rebound and slammed it down to get the home crowd roaring.

Less than a minute later, Jones hit a three from the left wing to give the Bulls their first lead of the game 21-19.

Mike Mercer missed a pull-up three at the buzzer of the first half, but the Bulls took a 31-27 advantage into the locker room, a lead they would not relinquish.

At the 17:32 mark of the second half, Jones pick-pocketted a Virginia player, drove coast to coast, then slammed home a one-handed dunk to put the Bulls up by 12 and causing the crowd to erupt.

The energy fueled the Bulls, and USF would go on to win the game by 17 points, 66-49.

USF 66 (2-0), Virginia 49 (1-1)
Postgame Notes
Sun Dome
Tampa, Fla.

- The University of South Florida hosted Virginia on Monday, as part of a USF basketball double header, and defeated the Cavaliers 66-49 to improve to 2-0 on the season.
- USF is 30-9 in home openers, and 21-1 in the last 22 seasons. Heath is 8-1 in home openers all-time and 86-36 in home games.
- The Bulls avenged last season’s 77-75 loss to Virginia in Charlottesville, the only other meeting between the two teams.
- Head coach Stan Heath is in his 23rd season of coaching, ninth as a head coach and third at USF. He has posted a 135-118 overall record and is 23-41 at USF. Heath has made three NCAA appearances (2002-Kent State, 2006 and 2007- Arkansas) in his eight-year career.

Team Game Notes
- USF extends Virginia's losing streak in the state of Florida to 11 … (1 at USF, 7 at FSU, 2 at Miami, 1 in ACC Tournament in Tampa)
- USF has beaten an ACC team in three of the last four years – Virginia (Nov. 16, 2009), Florida State (Nov. 18, 2007), Wake Forest (Dec. 29, 2006)
- USF held preseason Naismith and Wooden award candidate Sylven Landesberg to just 14 points, 2.3 below his 16.6 ppg average from last season.

Individual Game Notes
- USF’s starters against Virginia were G Chris Howard, G Mike Mercer, G Dominique Jones, F Jarrid Famous and F Augustus Gilchrist.
- Sophomore guard Justin Leemow was the first reserve to score in the 2009-10 season, collecting nine points for the night, which ties a career high. Only USF's starters scored in the season opener at SMU on Nov. 13.
- Junior Dominique Jones scored 13 points in the first half, which tied his game total at SMU. He ended the night with 22 points, which was the high scoring total for the game.
- Leemow tied his career high with nine points. He has scored nine twice before the last time vs. Cincinnati on March 3, 2009.

HOWARD MOVES INTO 8TH ON USF ASSISTS LIST, CLOSING IN ON 7TH
With an assist in the game, senior guard Chris Howard moved into a tie for eighth place in USF career assists. He started the game in ninth, with 367, just one behind Arthur Caldwell’s 368. He now sits sixteen behind Cedric Smith, who finished his career with 384

Jones Moves Into Top 10 in two Records, Looking in on six others
After just two seasons with the Bulls, Dominique Jones is ninth in career three-point field goals made and attempted and is just a few stats away from six more of USF’s top-10 listings.

Jones has scored 1,127 points while Cedric Smith is No. 10 with 1,180. Tenth-place Jesse Salters made 442 field goals and Jones already has 384. Jones is just 11 made free throws away from Gary Alexander and Donzel Rush, who each made 258. Jones also needs 22 steals to take No. 10 from Chucky Atkins, 30 field goal attempts to move above 10th-place Penny Greene and 70 free throw attempts to take the 10th spot from Tony Grier.



 
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