Fueled by 20 points from sophomore David Collins, the USF men’s basketball team rallied past Colgate 73-63 on Friday night at the Yuengling Center to reach 6-2 and tie the program record for wins in the month of November.
“It’s a great milestone for us because it shows that we are making progress and we are trying to do it the right way, and doing it with a bunch of new guys,” second-year head coach Brian Gregory said. “It’s a long road from where we were at to where we want to get to, but there’s got to be steps along the way.”
After Colgate went 8-for-18 from three-point range in the first half to grab a 36-34 halftime lead, the Bulls responded with a strong defensive effort in the final half, forcing the Raiders into 20 turnovers and grabbing 11 steals.
Redshirt Alexis Yetna reached double-digits in scoring for a sixth straight game, finishing with 14 points and five rebounds.
Sophomore Justin Brown helped USF pull even, scoring six consecutive points and completing an old-fashioned four-point play. He finished with nine points.
Tied 53-53, USF grabbed control of the game with a 7-0 run sparked by a long Yetna three-ball, a Collins steal and another Yetna layup to give the Bulls their largest lead of the night.
The Raiders (5-3) made only three of 12 attempts from long range in the second half in large part due to freshman Xavier Castaneda holding Colgate’s best scorer to just three points after registering 14 points in the first half.
Castaneda finished with only three points but played 16 crucial minutes.
“We didn’t panic when they were making some threes in the first half,” Gregory added. “I did not think our defense was where it needed to be in the first half and the numbers proved it, but we weren’t too far off. We needed to limit them to one shot and we got that in the second half.”
The Bulls, who didn’t win their sixth game until December 18 last season, will hit the road for a quick road contest at Charlotte next Sunday, December 9 at 2 p.m.