As anticipated, today’s game in Tampa is a defensive slug fest and the Mountaineers lead the Bulls by a 24-19 margin. Made baskets have been hard to come by for both teams, who are each playing a physical game and generally succeeding in keeping the other out of the score book.
The always-reliable Kevin Jones leads the Mountaineers with 12 points, six coming on a pair of deep threes. Jones and his Mountaineer teammates have been double teamed all afternoon by South Florida’s aggressive help defense. Deniz Kilicli has struggled mightily against the the Bulls’ pressure, repeatedly getting knocked off the blocks and forcing bad shots. If the Bulls set out this afternoon to stymie the Mountaineer bigs, they have succeeded so far.
The Bulls are led by freshman point guard Anthony Collins, younger brother of former WVU guard JD Collins, who has a team-high six points in the first half.
In a game both teams desperately need to shore up their NCAA tournament resumes, the first team to 50 points should go home happy.