Jawanza Poland posted his first double-double of the season to help the USF Bulls to a 63-54 win over the Stetson Hatter on Tuesday night at the Edmunds Center.
Both teams got off to a slow start offensively. Through the first six minutes of play, USF (4-2) and Stetson were tied at three, with the Bulls just 1-of-7 from the floor.
The Bulls grabbed their first lead of the night when a Jordan Omogbehin layup put them up 9-8 with 11:18 left in the half. After the Hatters answered with a bucket of their own, USF launched a 9-2 run.
Stetson would close the gap, and the Bulls held on to a one-point lead at the half, up 28-27.
USF trailed 36-34 with 15:45 left, but Kore White’s three-pointer again gave the Bulls the lead. That opened a 13-3 run, highlighted by seven points – including a dunk – from Poland.
The Bulls had to fight off one final Stetson comeback, as the Hatters pulled even at 47 with 4:38 on the clock, but Martino Brock quickly put the Bulls back out in front with a layup.
USF outrebounded Stetson 41-31 on the night, paced by Poland’s game-high 10 rebounds.
Toarlyn Fitzpatrick led with 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting, while Poland completed the double-double with 19 points. Brock also finished in double digits with 10 points.
The Bulls were forced to play without Anthony Collins on Tuesday. Head coach Stan Heath chose to rest Collins, who has been battling an injured calf.
USF will return home on Friday as the Bulls host Georgia in the Big East-SEC Challenge at 7 p.m.