Despite another impressive second half run, the USF men’s basketball team fell 82-74 to the Cincinnati Bearcats on Tuesday night at Fifth Third Arena.
“We didn’t get off to a good start in the first half, too many turnovers with 15 in the first half,” head coach Brian Gregory told GoUSFBulls.com “We were just out of sorts a little bit on offense, settled down in the second half and made our free throws. We rebounded the ball well and foul trouble hurt us.
Trailing 43-31 at halftime, the Bulls took off on a 24-12 run to close the gap and eventually tie the game 55-55 with 11 minutes remaining.
Redshirt junior Laquincy Rideau led all Bulls, scoring 26 points, grabbing three rebounds, dishing off four assists and picking up two steals. The West Palm Beach native is averaging 18.8 points, 5.8 assists and 4.6 steals per game in conference play,
USF (12-5, 2-3 AAC), tied the game again with with 6:28 remaining but couldn’t overcome 21 turnovers and a career-high 34 points from Cincinnati’s Jarron Cumberland.
With less than four minutes remaining, the Bearcats pushed their lead to five and never looked back.
“Cincinnati got 20 points at the free throw line in the second half and that’s a big, big 20 out of their 39 points,” Gregory added in a release. “That’s a tough, bitter pill to swallow, no doubt about it.”
Freshman Michael Durr tied his career-high with 10 points and hauled in nine rebounds while David Collins added 10 points and four assists.
As a team, USF shot 46% (23-for-49) from the floor and just 33% (6-for-18) from three-point range.
The Bulls return home to the Yuengling Center on Saturday night at 8 p.m. against No. 21 Houston on ESPNU.
- Despite season-long struggles, USF shot an improved 84% (22-for-26) from the free throw line.
- Cincinnati scored 30 points off the 21 USF turnovers.