USF didn't win the game, but you couldn't ask for much more from them in their 78-71 overtime loss to Tulsa at the Reynolds Center on Saturday.
Already missing Chris Perry, the Bulls (7-15, 1-8 American) lost Ruben Guerrero early on with an apparent groin issue. After stretching on the sidelines and briefly returning, Guerrero was shut down late in the first half. Jaleel Cousins also had his typical foul trouble, leaving USF very thin on the front line.
Still, the Bulls survived by riding the hot shooting of their three top guards. Corey Allen led the way with 32 points on 13-of-19 shooting. Anthony Collins added 19, and Nehemias Morillo scored 15. Between them, they had all but five of USF's points and made a string of threes, floaters, and circus shots to keep the Bulls in it.
Tulsa also kept USF alive with missed opportunities. The Golden Hurricane outrebounded the Bulls 40-25 (including a whopping 22 offensive rebounds) and took 11 more shots than USF. But they struggled badly at the free throw line and from three-point range.
USF led 62-60 with 42 seconds to go before Shaquille Harrison tied it with a floater. The Bulls held the ball for the final shot, but Allen's baseline jumper at the buzzer spun out to send the game to overtime.
In the extra period, Tulsa (16-5, 9-0 American) finally started making threes. After starting the game 2-for-18 from long range, Tulsa made five of their last six, including back-to-back threes from Rashad Smith that finally put the Bulls away.
Smith led Tulsa with 21 points. James Woodard had 16, and Brandon Swannegan dominated the paint with 12 points, 15 rebounds, and five blocks.
USF continues a rough stretch of their American schedule at the Sun Dome on Wednesday night against Temple.