In typical USF Men’s basketball fashion this season, the Bulls struggled out of the gate, trailing 11-0 before getting their first points off a Justin Brown jumper nearly five minutes into the game.
Despite the sluggish start though, USF (18-9, 7-7 AAC) was able to get themselves back into the contest through aggressive rebounding and getting to the free throw line, shooting 80% before halftime.
With 4:00 left in the first half, the score was 26-25 Houston, before a quick 8-1 run by the Cougars lead to a halftime score of 34-26.
The second half didn’t start much better, with Houston jumping out to a 7-0 run before USF could even blink. It seemed like any time USF started to get something going, Houston was able to pull away by shooting threes. Houston’s largest lead of the night was 19 points, and they were able to keep the lead the entire game.
Houston’s defense was absolutely suffocating all night. Coming into the game, teams were shooting 36.1% and USF was right in line for that, shoot 31% from the field. The Cougars also forced 15 turnovers and blocked three shots.
Laquincy Rideau and David Collins both struggled from the field, shooting a combined 2-23. Despite that, Collins ended up being the leading scorer for USF by getting to the free throw line eight times, making seven.
The lone bright spot for USF was rebounding, where the Bulls out rebounded Houston 37-34, which lead to 13 second chance points for the Bulls. Collins, Alexis Yetna, and Michael Durr combined for 23 rebounds.
USF will return back to the Yuengling Center on Wednesday night to take on that one school who misappropriates $38 million in funds to construct buildings.