USF Bounces Back With Win Over Merrimack

Coming off a brutal loss against Utah State, the USF Dons needed a bounceback win over Merrimack, a 1-9 team. Zane Meeks, making his first start at USF, got off to a quick start, scoring seven points and assisting on another bucket to get the Dons out to a quick 9-4 lead. Vova Markovetskyy made an early appearance for USF, and quickly added 5 points to extend the lead to 9.

The Dons continued to maintain a solid lead throughout the first half, and were able to comfortably attack Merrimack’s zone defense. Saba Gigiberia got involved offensively, scoring four points within two minutes of subbing in. However, Merrimack responded, going on a long run and cutting the lead to three after a Devon Savage three. USF responded with a 8-0 run at the end of the half, including eight from Vova, to go into the locker room up 11. 

USF started the 2nd half strongly, scoring the first five points of the half before Javon Bennett responded with a floater to cut the Dons lead to 13. Both teams continued to struggle from three early in the 2nd, with the teams shooting a combined 3-29 with just over 15 minutes left to play. Merrimack struggled to cut USF’s lead below 10, struggling to get to the paint against USF’s bigs, and going cold from the outside.

The Dons started playing a little soft full court pressure with around six minutes to play, but it didn’t affect the pace of the game much, and USF’s lead still hovered around 14. Tyrell Roberts finally hit a three for the Dons with 5 to play, and extended the lead to 19. In the end, the Dons took home a 69-51 win, and will now focus on the undefeated Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV.

After the game I spoke with forward Zane Meeks and Head Coach Chris Gerlufsen

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