Five Bulls finished with double figures in points, led by senior guard James Holmes
' 23-point effort. Senior Solomon Jones
, who finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds in last season's exhibition win over the Lions, had another monster night versus the team. In 35 minutes of action, he collected 19 points and 18 boards and also chipped in four blocks.
After moving ahead to an early double-digit advantage, the USF offensive attack stalled late in the first half and early into the second frame. Saint Leo pulled to within 40-38 at the 17:29 mark of the second half, but the Bulls responded with a 22-4 run to seal the victory.
Holmes chipped in 10 points during the decisive run, which included a pair of 3-pointers.
The Bulls concluded the night 52.5 percent from the floor and knocked down 24-of-26 (92.3 percent) of their free throw opportunities. USF shot 64.7 percent from the field in the second half and finished with a commanding 40-27 advantage on the boards.
Four Bulls made their respective USF debuts Thursday night. Junior Melvyn Richardson
was in the starting lineup along with classmate Melvin Buckley
and both junior McHugh Mattis
and Frane Markusovic
saw action off the bench. Mattis finished with 17 points and Buckley added 14 of his own.
USF opens the regular season Nov. 18 when the team hosts Alcorn State at 7 p.m.
TAMPA, Fla. – The University of South Florida men's basketball team opened its 2005-06 campaign with a 94-62 victory over Saint Leo in exhibition action from the Sun Dome Thursday night.