Come on, we’ve seen this story before. You can’t be surprised.
The South Florida Bulls men’s basketball team blew a 13-point second half lead to lose 79-67 to the Cincinnati Bearcats on Tuesday night at the Yuengling Center.
“It wasn’t one thing that got us,” head coach Brian Gregory said. “[The Bearcats] were able to get us in a lot of different areas. We turned the ball over during that [17-2 run]. We had three or four shots at the rim we didn’t finish.”
The Bulls rode a hot first half from senior guard Laquincy Rideau to a 39-33 halftime lead. Rideau scored 14 first-half points and made a season-high four threes to lead all scorers at the break. Rideau had one point in the second half.
USF (13-17, 6-11 AAC) pushed the lead out to 13 seven minutes into the second half thanks to a nice reverse layup from Antun Maricevic and a corner three from junior guard David Collins.
Then the wheels fell off.
Cincinnati (19-10, 12-5 AAC) went on a 17-2 run spanning over six minutes to erase the deficit, and take a two-point lead. Junior guard Justin Brown made three free throws to give the lead back to the Bulls 62-60 with 4:46 left. The Bearcats went on a 10-0 run to put the game away.
It’s another blown lead in the second half for the Bulls in a season where nothing has gone their way for long enough. The Bearcats went on a 36-11 run over the last 13 minutes of the second half. UC did all of this despite missing reigning AAC Player of the Year Jarron Cumberland, who missed the game with a foot injury.
“We drove the ball too deep in those last 13 minutes,” Gregory said. “Once you get it that deep, there is no option [to pass]. The only option is to make it, get the shot up to the rim, and get an offensive rebound.”
USF needs to regroup quickly for the final game of the regular season versus SMU on Saturday. Game is set for a 7 p.m. tip on ESPN3.
“Sometimes we get too revved up, and keep attacking, attacking, attacking, you’ve gotta be able to make better decisions on those drives,” Gregory said.
- Justin Brown had 16 points to leads USF. He had 13 in the second half.
- Michael Durr had 13 points, and nine rebounds.
- The Bulls were outscored 42-16 in the paint.
- UC’s Keith Williams had 21 points in the second half, and finished with 30.