The South Florida Bulls held off the Vermont Catamounts 61-59 in their first basketball game of the 2011-12 season, in a game held at the Bob Martinez Sports Center on the University of Tampa campus. The game was part of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Tournament, which is beginning on campus sites this weekend.
USF held a 49-37 lead with a little over eleven minutes to go. But in a near-repeat of last year's season opener, the Bulls let the lead start slipping away. Vermont had several chances to tie the game or take the lead in the final 90 seconds, but could never capitalize. Their last chance came on the final possession of the game. Four McGlynn (who led all players with 17 points) missed a runner as the clock wound down. The Catamounts rebounded and scored on a putback, but the officials ruled that the time had expired before the game-tying shot. Since the game was not televised, replay could not be checked to review the call and USF prevailed.
Ron Anderson Jr. led the Bulls with 16 points. Shaun Noriega added 15 (including four 3-pointers), while Victor Rudd and Augustus Gilchrist each scored 12. USF played with only seven scholarship players because of a one-game suspension given by the NCAA to Toarlyn Fitzpatrick for playing in an unsanctioned summer league. (They also suspended guard Jawanza Poland for two games for the same offense, but he was already out with an injury.)
The Bulls will continue play in the Naismith tournament on Monday night as they host the Marist Red Foxes at the St. Pete Times Forum, beginning at 7:00pm.