Alabama (4-3) at South Florida (5-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 7, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sun Dome (10,411) -- Tampa, Florida. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: UA 4-0, USF 3-2. Away Record: UA 0-0, USF 2-0. Neutral Record: UA 0-3, USF 0-0. Conference Record: UA 0-0, USF 0-0. Series Record: UA leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Alabama Crimson Tide pay a visit to the Sun Dome to tangle with the Bulls of South Florida in non-league play.
This will be the first true road game of the season for Alabama. In their most recent outing, the Crimson Tide rebounded from a triple-overtime loss to Drexel by knocking off an overmatched North Florida team on Wednesday night, 76-48. They'll take a break for finals following this tilt and then return to action next Saturday against Charleston Southern to kick off a three-game homestand.
South Florida overcame a 17-point deficit in the final 12-plus minutes to shock George Mason on the road Wednesday night, 68-66. The win snapped a two- game slide for the Bulls, who will be idle until Dec. 17 against Florida Gulf Coast. That game will be the first of four for the Bulls in the Las Vegas Classic.
Alabama notched a 123-97 win over USF in the only prior meeting between these schools, which occurred back on Dec. 9, 1971.
The Crimson Tide raced out to a 17-4 lead against North Florida and then spent the rest of the game looking in the rearview mirror. They hit their first 10- of-14 shots, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range to set the tone. Junior guard Levi Randolph finished with a career-high 20 points to pace four players in double figures. Nick Jacobs was next in line with 13 points, Jimmie Taylor scored 12 and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, and Trevor Releford tallied 10 points, five assists and three steals. The sharp-shooting Releford is averaging a team-best 16.3 points through seven games. He has connected on 42.1 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc (16-of-38) and 95.7 percent from the foul line (22-of-23). Retin Obasohan (13.6 ppg) is also scoring in double figures along with Jacobs (11.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and Randolph (11.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg).
USF's Corey Allen Jr. sealed Wednesday's dramatic comeback win over George Mason with a fade-away jumper with two seconds remaining in regulation. After struggling early, the Bulls turned the tide with 18 unanswered points while holding George Mason scoreless for a span of more than seven minutes. The Bulls made only 1-of-9 3-pointers for the game, compared to a 7-of-17 effort for the Patriots, but they made up for it with a key 27-11 scoring edge at the charity stripe as they were rewarded for continually attacking the glass. Allen finished with a team-high 19 points and three steals, while Chris Perry recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Victor Rudd rounded out the Bulls in double figures with 15 points to go along with eight boards. Rudd (14.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and Allen (14.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg) have been the headliners for USF in the season's early going.
The Bulls will no doubt bring some confidence into this matchup after rallying back from a big deficit on the road to beat a solid George Mason team a few nights ago. As long they don't let Releford go on a shooting spree, they should be able to pull out the victory here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Florida 76, Alabama 69
12/07 10:35:35 ET