Four Bulls finished in double figures, including redshirt freshman Alexis Yetna registering his fifth double-double as the USF men’s basketball secured a five-game winning streak for the first time since 2007 with an 83-44 trouncing of Alcorn State on Friday night at the Yuengling Center.
“Very proud of the way our guys responded,” head coach Brian Gregory said. “We knew that we had a job to do before the break and our guys really responded well to that.”
The Bulls (9-2) never trailed and built up a 43-23 halftime lead on the heels of a 12-0 run to close out the first half.
Yetna, the reigning American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Week, finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds in only 21 minutes.
Sophomore Justin Brown came alive in the second half, tying his career-high with 16 points and shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range.
“My coaches kept telling me stay focused and stay poised,” Brown said. “I just had to keep shooting, that’s my biggest strength.”
Fellow sophomore Mayan Kiir added two highlight-reel slams and finished with 10 points, four rebounds and two assists.
USF held Alcorn State to 33% (16-for-48) shooting from the floor, 13% (2-for-15) from behind the arc and hauled in 24 offensive rebounds.
“It starts on the defensive end of the court for us,” Gregory added. “This was the third straight game where I thought we were very good defensively and that helps a lot.”
Junior forward Antun Maricevic joined the double-digit effort, finishing with 11 points, six rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes.
Leading 70-35 with under eight minutes to play, the Bulls emptied the bench to give a pair of freshman Mark Calleja and Rashun Williams some valuable playing time.
“They work so hard...they give such an effort that people don’t know about,” Gregory said. “Both have gotten a lot better and they both know that they are a big part of this.”
USF will enjoy an eight-day Christmas break before closing out the non-conference slate against Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday, December 29 at 1 p.m.
.@USFMBB is up 70-35 on Alcorn State at the under-8 timeout. Get this: USF’s last 30+ point win over a D-I opponent was on Dec. 29, 2007. They beat Winston-Salem State 87-48. WSSU has since moved back to D-II.— The Daily Stampede (@StampedeSBN) December 22, 2018
That was USF’s biggest margin of victory since a 40-point win over LIU-Brooklyn in 2002— The Daily Stampede (@StampedeSBN) December 22, 2018