USF (8-18 SU, 7-14-1 ATS, 12-10 O/U) at UCF (15-9 SU, 11-8-0 ATS, 6-13-0 O/U)
When and Where: Wednesday, Feb. 14, CFE Arena, Orlando, Fla., 6 p.m. EST.
UCF goes for a third consecutive season sweep of intrastate rival South Florida as the American Athletic Conference rivals meet Wednesday night.
Bulls look to end 5-game skid, gain split versus UCF
South Florida (8-18, 1-12 AAC) is in last place in the American Athletic Conference, 2 1/2 games behind East Carolina and well on its way to a fifth consecutive 20-loss season.
The Bulls have dropped five straight and 12 of 13 overall following a 73-55 loss at home to Temple on Saturday. Isaiah Manderson scored a career-high 18 rebounds and had eight rebounds off the bench for South Florida, which struggled again from the perimeter as it made just 5 of 18 from 3-point range.
Brian Gregory’s team is not a good-shooting one to begin with as the Bulls are ahead of only Connecticut in the AAC at 41.1 percent. They are sixth in 3-point shooting at 34.9 percent, but that figure has dipped to 27.8 percent (27 for 97) during their five-game skid.
Stephan Jiggetts and Payton Banks are South Florida’s top-scoring tandem, averaging 12.4 and 12.1 points, respectively. They have combined for 97 3-pointers, with Jiggetts connecting on 38.8 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
South Florida is 2-8 on the road, getting outscored by an average of 17.5 points while giving up 77.5 per game. Opponents are shooting 49.6 percent in those games and forcing 14.9 turnovers per game.
UCF looking to get back over .500 in conference play
UCF (15-9, 6-6) is back home after splitting a two-game road swing, bouncing back from a 77-40 thrashing administered by then-No. 6 Cincinnati with a 68-64 victory at Memphis on Sunday.
B. J. Taylor scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half and A. J. Davis added 20 for the Golden Knights, who won for the first time in Memphis in 15 tries. UCF shot 52.9 percent while holding Memphis to 41.2 percent.
The offensive resurgence was a welcome sight after the Golden Knights missed all 14 of their 3-point attempts at Cincinnati while shooting just 28.3 percent. While they have struggled on the perimeter at home, shooting 30.5 percent from 3-point range, they are hitting 45.6 percent of their shots overall there while averaging 67.8 points.
Taylor is averaging 14.0 points while connecting on 42.3 percent of his long-range attempts, and Davis is the only other healthy player in double figures at 10.7 per contest. The Golden Knights continue to play without 7-6 center Tacko Fall, who averaged 11.3 points and 7.3 rebounds but is out for the season with a shoulder injury.
UCF is second in the conference in scoring defense, yielding just 61.4 points per game. The Golden Knights are also second in defensive field goal percentage (38.7).
- 1-4 ATS in its last five games vs. AAC opponents.
- 3-9-1 ATS in its last 13 games following a straight up loss.
- 2-7-1 ATS in its last 10 games following an ATS loss.
- 11-4 ATS in its last 15 home games.
- 7-2 ATS in its last nine home games vs. opponents with a sub-.400 road winning percentage.
- 18-6 ATS in its last 24 home games as a favorite.
The Golden Knights have won the last five games between the teams and squeaked out a 71-69 victory in Tampa on Jan. 20. Taylor scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half as UCF rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit. Jiggetts had 17 points to lead the Bulls, who have lost seven of their last eight to UCF.