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Jones gets another 30 as Bulls stay hot
By RONALD P. CLARK, Special to the Times
Published December 6, 2007
RICHMOND, Va. - As Dominique Jones put on a clinic Wednesday filled with controlled drives to the basket and timely jumpers from all over the floor, the Richmond fans could only watch in amazement that the man who was single-handedly beating their formerly .500 team was only a freshman.
After his second straight 30-point game, Jones had led USF to a 79-65 victory over the Spiders, the Bulls' sixth in a row after an 0-3 start.
"I've never had a player go back-to-back like his last two games," Bulls coach Stan Heath said. "But we needed it."
Climbing on Jones' back, the Bulls were able to hold off a Richmond team that led 31-29 at halftime. The Spiders (4-5) held Jones to nine points in the half, but a personal 7-0 run in the second half that included a layup, 3-pointer and two free throws suggested he was just waiting his turn.
"I'm just letting the game come to me," said Jones, who shot 9-of-12 from the field. "It's all about where my mind-set is at."
In the first half, USF couldn't run as it wanted to. But with the Spiders leading 39-35 after Ryan Butler's tip-in with 13:32 left in the game, Jones hit a 3-pointer to ignite a 19-2 run. Jones scored 10 during the spurt.
Spiders leading scorer David Gonzalez was held to five points on 2-of-11 shooting, including 1-of-9 from 3-point range.
"It was a hard-fought win," Heath said. "The tempo was theirs in the first half but we were able to get the tempo in our favor in the second half. Our defense was huge in the second half and we were able to build a little lead and hit our free throws."
USF dominated the boards 46-24, led by Jones' 14, and made 26 of 32 free throws, including 16 straight during the second half. The Spiders made only 9 of 15.
Chris Howard finished with 16 points as the Bulls backcourt produced 46 points. USFleading scorer Kentrell Gransberry was held to nine points while played 20 minutes because of foul trouble.