Dons Bounce Back With Dominant Win Over Little Rock

By Kellan King

After a few weeks away from home, the USF Dons returned home looking to bounce back from a loss at Davidson against Arkansas Little-Rock. USF got off to a quick start, jumping out to an 8-0 lead behind two threes from Josh Kunen and Tyrell Roberts. Little Rock started to find their rhythm though, scoring nine straight after the first media timeout to cut the USF lead to 16-13. 

Julian Rishwain found his stroke in the first half, hitting two threes in the first 11 minutes, including one to put USF ahead 25-15. USF continued to dominate, going on an 18-2 run, ending with a Khalil Shabazz dime to Isaiah Hawthorne for a layup that put the Dons up 19. The Dons slowed down a little in the last part of the second half, getting most of their offense from the line, and taking a 49-24 lead into halftime.

The second half started out a little slower for USF, but Little Rock wasn’t able to take advantage of some missed Dons 3s, and USF maintained a big lead through the first 8 minutes of the half. After the lead was cut to 19, USF responded with a quick 10-0 run, forcing some turnovers and executing well in the half court, including four points from Saba Gigiberia. 

Little Rock went to a press with around 8 minutes to play, and it threw USF’s rhythm off a little, forcing three quick turnovers, and the Trojans capitalized, cutting the lead back down to 19. Isaiah Hawthorne helped steady the Dons off the bench, hitting a three and then getting a block on an open layup attempt. The final five minutes were relatively uneventful, and USF took home the win 90-68. 

USF will now turn their attention to the undefeated Utah State Aggies, who they will take on Sunday at the Chase Center.

After the game I spoke with Head Coach Chris Gerlufsen and Junior Forward Isaiah Hawthorne

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