USF failed to perform in one of basketball’s most fundamental aspects of the game Wednesday.
The Bulls made 2-of-11 from the free-throw line for 18 percent in a 59-57 loss to Houston.
Houston capitalized on its free throws down the stretch, with Conference USA Player of the Week Louis Truscott nailing both of his freebies as the clock ticked down to 4.4 seconds to take the lead and put away the game for the Cougars.
Houston brought the game to 57 all when sophomore Andre Owens hit a three-pointer with 32 seconds remaining.
Owens led the Cougars in scoring with 23 points.
The Bulls’ free-throw woes showed down the stretch when freshman Yusuf Baker failed to connect on both of his attempts with a minute remaining.
Baker, a 66.7 percent free-throw shooter on the season, was 0-for-5.
The 6-foot-8 forward from Orlando had 10 points, giving the Bulls 10 boards in 30 minutes.
Before the game against the Cougars, Baker averaged 9.9 minutes a contest.
The post players for the Bulls led the way, as center Will McDonald brought the Bulls what they sorely lacked in a 68-62 double overtime loss to ECU Saturday — rebounding.
McDonald brushed aside his off-the-court problems after serving a one game suspension for violating the student-athlete code of conduct, giving the added presence down low.
McDonald tallied 12 rebounds and seven offensive boards, leading USF to a 40-34 advantage.
USF hit the boards against the Cougars, but the extra rebounds were the result of missed shots.
The Bulls shot 36.2 percent, going 25-for-71 from the field, including 20 percent from behind the three-point line.
Coming off a 2-for-13 shooting night at ECU, Reggie Kohn continued his poor shooting by not making a single field goal.
The senior point guard went 0-for-10 while handing out nine assists.
In the first half the two teams battled back and forth sharing the lead.
USF led the battle of the boards at the half, leading 11-5 offensively and 21-18 total.
The difference in the offensive rebounding translated to easy baskets for the Bulls.
USF led the battle for second-chance points 14-4.
The two teams split the lead in the first half as USF struck, posting a 7-2 run.
The Cougars battled back, tying the score at 15 with 11:46 left in the half, when Owens made a shot after a turnover by Gerrick Morris.