USF faces Wichita State while eyeing fifth straight win

·2 min read

The South Florida Bulls, looking for their fifth straight win, are set to host the Wichita State Shockers on Tuesday night in an American Athletic Conference game in Tampa.

USF (5-2, 1-0 AAC) is 3-0 at home this season, powered primarily by David Collins, its top scorer (13.0) and its leader in assists (3.7) and steals (1.6).

"This is a team that's going to get better as the season goes along," Collins said when asked about USF's winning streak.

Wichita State (3-2, 1-0) is looking for its third straight win. The Shockers also have the advantage over the Bulls in their series, leading 3-1, including a 65-55 home victory in their most recent matchup on Feb. 20. The Shockers also beat the Bulls in Tampa last season.

The Shockers are led in scoring this season by Tyson Etienne (15.4) and Alterique Gilbert (12.8). Gilbert also leads the team in assists (3.4), and Ricky Council IV tops the Shockers in rebounds (6.3).

However, the hottest Shockers player is Morris Udeze, who is coming off a career-high 18-point game on Friday night against Division II Emporia State. In that game, Udeze -- who is averaging 8.8 points for the season -- made all seven of his shots from the floor. He kept it simple, scoring on five layups and two dunks.

Udeze, who is 6-foot-8, also matched his career high with three blocks and went 4-for-5 from the foul line.

"He didn't force anything, and he wasn't standing on the perimeter," Wichita State coach Isaac Brown said. "We need our bigs to score the ball in the paint."

Udeze will likely match up against USF's Alexis Yetna, who is also 6-8. Yetna is averaging 11.6 points and leads the Bulls in rebounding (7.1). Michael Durr, USF's 7-foot center, is also a force inside, leading the team in offensive rebounds (2.6) and ranking second in overall boards (6.4). Yetna makes 62.1 percent of his two-point tries, and Durr makes 51.0 percent.

Yetna, however, is also proficient from the three-point line as his 47.8 percent accuracy is second on the team to Collins (53.8).

Guards Justin Brown and Caleb Murphy are USF's other starters, and they are both averaging 9.4 points.

Both teams are struggling defensively. USF is 10th in the 11-team AAC in points allowed (70.0) and also 10th in field goal percentage defense (43.5 percent) and steals (6.0).

Wichita State ranks eighth in scoring defense (68.2) and field goal percentage allowed (42.2) and ninth in steals (6.2).

--Field Level Media