DALLAS — USF men’s basketball opened the new decade by doing something they did on a regular basis in the old decade: getting outclassed by SMU.
Isaiah Mike led all scores with 24 points and Tyson Jolly added 14 as the Mustangs (10-2, 1-0 American) easily turned aside the USF Bulls 82-64 on Wednesday at Moody Coliseum. SMU shot 60% from the field and got open shots seemingly at will, while the Bulls (7-7, 0-1 American) hit only 38% and frequently settled for drives through the lane and wild layup attempts.
From an early 9-9 tie, SMU surged ahead with a 15-3 run in the middle of the first half to take a 24-12 lead. After the Bulls pulled within 26-20 on a Madut Akec three-pointer, the Mustangs went streaking again. This time the run was 14-2, and USF would not threaten again.
After halftime, the wheels completely fell off. SMU started getting even easier shots and USF seemed powerless to stop them on the break. (The Mustangs scored 20 fast break points and shot an incredible 77% on their two-point attempts.) The lead hit 25 points early in the second half, peaked at 28, and only fell below 20 in the final minute of the game when both teams emptied their benches.
Laquincy Rideau led the Bulls with 14 points. Xavier Castaneda was the only other USF player in double digits with 10. David Collins, who did not start but played 28 minutes on his return from injury, and Zack Dawson combined to make only 3 of 18 shots.
“A little rusty,” said Gregory of Collins. “That’s what ends up happening when you miss three, four days of practice. But as the game went on, he was good.” Gregory added that Collins had a good shootaround before the game and left it up to the player to decide if he could go.
Antun Maricevic returned after missing Sunday’s win over FAU, scoring 6 points in 13 minutes. In addition to Collins’ and Maricevic’s bumps and bruises, Jamir Chaplin left early in the second half when he stumbled on his way in for a layup and crashed to the floor. Both teams also dabbled in rough play, peaking with an incident where Jolly picked up a flagrant foul for grabbing Collins by the head on a drive to the hoop. Collins then tried to mix it up with Jolly after the play and was given a technical.
USF will play its conference home opener on Saturday afternoon against their soon-to-be-former league mates, the UConn Huskies. Tipoff at the Yuengling Center is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.