Sat, 23 Jan 2021

South Florida bids to ride momentum vs. Florida AM

Field Level Media
04 Dec 2020, 05:40 GMT+10

South Florida coach Brian Gregory mixed up his lineup during the team's more recent return to Tampa, and the result was a 76-57 victory over Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday.

The Bulls (2-2) aim to build on their latest win on Friday when they host Florida AM (0-2) and former Bulls coach RobertoMcCullum.

After losing to Rhode Island and Virginia Tech in Connecticut over the weekend, Gregory shuffled the deck and started sophomore guard Jamir Chaplin in place of senior David Collins.

The change seemed to ignite USF, which led 18-4 out of the gate. Michael Durr finished with 14 points and nine rebounds as the team evened its record.

Alexis Yetna recorded 13 points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes, and Caleb Murphy chipped in 12 points and three assists.

"Some of the stuff we were exposed with over the weekend -- the turnovers, some of the sloppiness of our execution, on offense and defense -- would have been addressed three weeks ago," Gregory said. "You're seeing that across the country.

"Sometimes you've got to work on stuff on the fly, and that's what we did. We got back and had a one-day prep to get ready for (Florida Gulf Coast)."

Playing its final season as a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, FAMU (0-2) lost two road games to start the 2020-21 campaign. The Rattlers, however, made their opponents earn their wins.

Florida AM opened with a 65-56 loss at Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 25. On Sunday, the Rattlers traveled to face Southeastern Conference neighbor Georgia, which led by just one at halftime before pulling away in the second half for an 85-75 win.

Two games, two close losses for FAMU, who will join the Southwestern Athletic Conference in July.

In the defeats, MJ Randolph and Kamron Reaves turned in strong performances.

Randolph recorded team highs in points (21) and rebounds (nine) against the Bulldogs on Sunday. Reaves topped the Rattlers with 15 points and three assists in the loss to the Eagles.

Randolph and Reaves share the team lead in scoring (14.5 points per game) and assists (2.5), respectively. Randolph also paces the team in rebounds (7.5) and steals (3.0).

"I don't know if enough of you thought you could win, but I think at halftime you began to believe," McCullum said to his players after the Georgia loss.

Playing their first 10 games on the road, the Rattlers' first home contest isn't until Jan. 16 against South Carolina State.

--Field Level Media

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