By Kellan King
Tonight’s game against the UT-Arlington Mavericks looked like a bit of a trap game for USF. The Dons were coming off a big win over UNLV, and could’ve been looking ahead to Wednesday’s matchup against a ranked Arizona State team. Things started off slowly for USF, and after the Mavericks went up 7-0 Coach Chris Gerlufsen took a quick timeout.
USF settled into the game a little behind two Zane Meeks threes, and the lead was down to one at one point. However, two Toni Rocak turnovers led to quick buckets for UT-Arlington, and the lead was back up to nine, and two more Mavericks threes after a timeout extended the lead to 15. It looked like the Dons might make a run late in the half, but at the break USF trailed 38-27.
The second half started slowly, but Justin Bieker gave the Dons some energy with a layup to cut the lead to 11, and then hitting a three to again cut the lead to 11. However, the Mavericks continued to battle, and maintain a solid lead, even getting it up to 16 at one point. At this point, USF went to a little full court pressure, and after two steals Tyrell Roberts knocked down two threes to cut the lead to 10.
In the last ten minutes, USF continued to push, and UTA continued to respond. However, with around 3 minutes to play the Dons made a push. They hit 3s and forced turnovers, putting a ton of pressure on the Mavericks, even cutting the lead to three. However, in the end UTA held on for a 68-63 upset win. The Dons will need to regroup and prepare for #25 Arizona State, who they take on Wednesday night.
After the game I spoke with Head Coach Chris Gerlufsen