Trailing by nine with just 1:12 remaining, the USF men’s basketball team rallied back to tie things up 75-75 with 4.4 seconds left on a David Collins three-ball only to fall in heartbreaking fashion when Tulsa drained a three at the buzzer to snap the Bulls’ seven-game winning streak.
“It was obviously a great game. We did some things out of character a little bit for us, but the one thing that was in character was we just kept fighting,” head coach Brian Gregory told GoUSFBulls.com. “We just kind of hung in there and kept fighting, and did some really good things at the end, really good execution.”
Sparked by a three-pointer from T.J. Lang, the Bulls took off on an 8-0 run to grab a 12-10 lead early in the first half before Tulsa jumped ahead by 10 a few minutes later.
Again having major issues from the free-throw line (50%, 11-for-22), USF trailed 36-31 at the half.
“There were some things not going so well and some difficulty in terms of the foul situation in the first half – a lot of free throws,” Gregory added in the release.
The Bulls (11-3, 1-1 AAC), seeking their first-ever win against the Golden Hurricane, trailed by 11 with 6:20 remaining before sinking four of their final five shots to trim the deficit to single digits in the final minute.
Following Collins’ tying-three, Tulsa’s Curran Scott got open in the corner and sunk a game-winning three-ball with zeros on the clock.
TU wins it at the buzzer over USF! pic.twitter.com/oheDC6eOit— Kyle Boone (@Kyle__Boone) January 6, 2019
“Taplin is their guy that they go (to) to score that and we made him throw an extra pass to a 25% three-point shooter and he made it, to that kid’s credit,” Greogry added. “There are no moral victories. Our team is getting better and we’ve got some things we need to improve on.”
Junior Laquincy Rideau finished with a team-high 19 points, seven assists and grabbed five steals while Collins again came alive in the second half, scoring 10 of his 16 points in final half.
Redshirt freshman Alexis Yetna registered his conference-leading seventh double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 boards.
USF returns home to the Yuengling Center on Wednesday night to continue AAC play against Tulane. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m on ESPN3.
- USF ranks 332nd nationally (out of 351 teams) in free-throw percentage (62.6)
- Rideau ranks seventh in the NCAA with 2.8 steals per outing.