Men's basketball loses second-straight

By Steven Gerardy, Correspondent
On February 16, 2019

David Collins had a chance to win or send the game to double overtime on Saturday with a pair of free throws. Collins missed both shots. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/GOUSFBULLS

David Collins missed two free throws with 0.8 seconds remaining in overtime as USF men’s basketball (17-8, 7-6) lost 70-69 to Temple (19-7, 9-4) on Saturday night at the Yuengling Center.

T.J. Lang heaved the ball to Collins from the baseline 94 feet away from the Bulls’ basket with 1.5 seconds on the clock. Collins made the catch and was fouled on the play. The stage was set.

Trailing by one, Collins, to that point, was 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. His first attempt rolled around and out of the rim. His second attempt fell short.

“People are going to say that the two free throws at the end, you have heard this before, that didn’t cost us the game,” coach Brian Gregory said. “Yes, if he makes both we win the game but we made six, seven, eight critical errors which is part of the game.”

The Bulls led 23-18 at halftime despite shooting only 30 percent from the field. The lead would change hands three times in the second half and overtime as the Bulls committed 11 turnovers in the second half and overtime.

USF was able to keep pace with the Owls in other ways by out-rebounding Temple 42-28. The Bulls had 12 rebounds on the offensive end, resulting in 16 second-chance points. Alexis Yetna had 12 of his own rebounds against Temple, which was his second straight game with 12 rebounds.

“[Yetna] is still rusty from his week off,” Gregory said. “He is rusty shooting the ball but he is not rusty on the glass. That’s his second-straight double-figure rebound game. If you get double-figures against Central Florida and you get double-figures against Temple, you are a high-level rebounder.”

The starting backcourt for the Bulls scored 31 points collectively with Laquincy Rideau leading the way with 16 points. Collins executed on four made baskets and six made free-throws for his 15 points.

Gregory commended the effort of the Bulls’ backcourt in the loss.

“Both [Collins and Rideau], we weren’t sure they were going to be able to play,” Gregory said. “The first lesson is those guys [Collins and Rideau] are warriors … those guys at Temple are tough suckers, tough kids.”

After winning five-straight conference games, the Bulls have lost the last two and remain in fifth place in the AAC.

“We want to play as many games as we can because every game we get to play we keep getting better,” Gregory said. “We keep learning different things and that’s the most important thing for us right now.”

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