USF men’s basketball ended the decade in thrilling fashion as they defeated the FAU Owls 60-58 behind a 10-0 run by guard Zach Dawson in a 2:24 span to pull away late in the second half.
USF, who is coming off of two heart-breaking losses to Utah State and Florida State, had the edge at halftime, leading the Owls 35-26. However, FAU used a furious comeback in the second half to take a seven point lead with four minutes remaining in the game. A jumper by FAU’s Michael Forrest gave the Owls a seven point lead, and had Bulls fans staring at another late game meltdown.
However, Dawson player hero ball to bring the Bulls to victory as he scored 10 of his career-high 18 points during that vital three and a half minutes in the second half. Dawson hit two threes, a layup, and a jumper during the key run.
The Bulls were riddled by injury as they look to get healthy before conference play begins, missing David Collins, Antun Maricevic, and Rashun Williams for this game. True freshman B.J. Mack showed his versatility on the floor, going two-for-three from three and four-for-four on free throws to finish the game ten points. Michael Durr collected a team-high seven rebounds and three blocks to go along with his six points.
With the victory, USF will close out the 2010’s with a victory and moves to 7-6 on the year before setting their sights on conference play. The Bulls will travel to Dallas to take on SMU on New Year’s Day to begin a tough conference schedule.