PHILADELPHIA - The first triple-double ever in a conference game for the USF Bulls by redshirt junior Laquincy Rideau wasn’t enough as USF fell 82-20 in overtime to the Temple Owls at the Liacouras Center in Meek Mill’s North Philadelphia on Saturday.
“They’re as good a team as we’ve played. Maybe the best team we’ve played so far. So we gotta do some things better to win some games on the road,” said Bulls head coach Brian Gregory. “Great game, tough kids out there playing hard on every possession.”
Rideau’s 18 points, 10 assists, and 10 steals was the first triple-double in a conference game in USF men’s basketball history, and only the third in the 48-year history of the program. The others were McHugh Mattis in 2006 vs. Winston-Salem State, and Adrian Hillman vs. FAU in 1996.
The Bulls (12-4, 2-2 AAC) fell behind 37-23 heading into halftime, looking less-than-inspired and a bit out of sorts on both ends of the court. They were 8-28 with nine turnovers and plenty of missed defensive rotations before intermission. But they opened the second stanza with a 23-5 run that left Broad Street broadsided, including eight of freshman Alexis Yetna’s team-high 24 points.
Where the Bulls failed was from the charity stripe, where their inability to take advantage was lethal. USF entered the game shooting just 62.1% from the free throw line, and went 10-25 today.
“We’re not a great free throw shooting team. So we just gotta keep working on it. We got a lot of young guys out there playing, only one senior played again tonight,” said Gregory
“We just gotta keep putting in the time and getting better at it. We do get to the line a lot. It’s the second-straight road game in the league our opponent has shot more free throws than us, that’s the only time it’s happened all year long. So we gotta address that a little bit. Especially in the second half there was a stretch there where they didn’t make many baskets but they kept getting to the free throw line. So we’ve got to do a better job of defending without fouling obviously.”
The Bulls were down three with 32 seconds left in regulation, and when sophomore David Collins missed the front end of yet another one-and-one, freshman Michael Durr ripped down the rebound, where it circulated across the perimeter to Rideau who tied the game with 28 ticks remaining. USF got a defensive stop after a Temple timeout, and David Collins’ heave from just over the half-court line failed to find the rim.
But in overtime the Owls started on a 6-0 run and never looked back. Yetna making both ends of a one-and-one in OT for the first and only time all day for the green and gold cut the lead to one at 78-77, but the next four points belonged to the home team, with Xavier Castaneda’s three-pointer at 1.6 seconds left not giving the Bulls enough time to change the outcome.
Temple (13-3, 3-1 AAC) was led by sophomore guard Nate Pierre-Louis with 22 points and 20 from senior Shizz Alston Jr.
The Bulls return to action next Tuesday vs. Cincinnati, with a 7 p.m. at Fifth Third Arena.