South Florida 46

(7-14, 1-7 Big East)

(21) West Virginia 56

(13-5, 4-2 Big East)

    Coverage: FULLCT/ESPN3

    2:00 PM ET, January 23, 2011

    WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, West Virginia

    1 2 T
    USF 16 3046
    #21WVU 27 2956

    Top Performers

    South Florida: A. Gilchrist 20 Pts, 10 Reb, 1 Blk

    West Virginia: J. Flowers 13 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl, 3 Blk

    South Florida-West Virginia Preview


    A pair of upsets helped West Virginia enter the Top 25 for the first time this season but a loss to an in-state rival might push them back out of the rankings next week.

    The No. 21 Mountaineers have a final chance to persuade voters Sunday at home against struggling Big East foe South Florida.

    West Virginia (12-5, 3-2) knocked off then-No. 13 Georgetown on Jan. 8 and then-No. 8 Purdue last Sunday to grab its current spot in the poll. In their first game as a ranked team Wednesday night, the Mountaineers shot a season-low 33.3 percent and fell 75-71 to Marshall in the annual Capital Classic in Charleston, W.Va.

    "We got outplayed," guard Joe Mazzulla said. "We didn't take them serious enough. We've got to forget about it as soon as possible and learn from our mistakes."

    Despite missing 12 of 17 shots, leading scorer Casey Mitchell (16.8 ppg) finished with a team-best 18 points, and senior forward John Flowers added 16. Flowers is shooting 79.2 percent and averaging 18.3 points over the past three games -- nearly double his season average of 9.5.

    Another strong performance from Flowers could help West Virginia improve to 7-1 at home as it faces South Florida, which is 0-8 on the road.

    The Bulls (7-13, 1-6) fell 71-62 at Rutgers on Thursday night after snapping a seven-game slide with a 79-72 win over Providence last Sunday.

    Against Rutgers, South Florida trailed 52-50 with 7:09 remaining before allowing a game-breaking 9-0 run.

    "We started the way we wanted to," coach Stan Heath said. "We showed some patience. I liked what we were doing offensively, but you have to play both ends of the court.

    Leading scorer Augustus Gilchrist (12.8 ppg) had 14 points to tie for the team lead with junior guard Hugh Robertson, who led the way with 17 in the win over Providence.

    Gilchrist and Robertson didn't play in last season's 69-50 home loss to the then-No. 10 Mountaineers.

    South Florida held an early 11-point lead in that game before succumbing to a 20-7 run to end the first half. West Virginia then limited the Bulls to two field goals in the first 14 minutes of the second half.

    Junior guard Darryl Bryant scored 13 of his 15 points in the first 20 minutes of the win, which helped the Mountaineers improve to 6-0 all-time in Big East play against the Bulls.

    West Virginia lost the only non-conference matchup -- and the inaugural meeting -- between the schools in Florida on Dec. 10, 1977.

    The Mountaineers' ranking could give them a chance to avoid that same fate as South Florida is 11-88 all-time against ranked opponents and 5-26 since joining the Big East.

    West Virginia has faced the Bulls twice at WVU Coliseum, and Flowers hit a key 3-pointer in the second half to help the Mountaineers hold on for a 62-59 victory in the previous meeting there Jan. 17, 2009.


    School Info

    Conference American Big 12
    Nickname Bulls Mountaineers
    Type Public Public

    2010-11 Season

    » Jan 23, 2011 @WVU 56, USF 46Recap