The South Florida men’s basketball team continued a few trends in Saturday’s 70-62 loss to Southern Miss.
As the season ticks down to two games remaining, the Bulls continued to shoot poorly from the free-throw line and ride the hot hand of Will McDonald.
USF (13-12, 6-8 in Conference USA) also dropped to 1-11 all-time in Hattiesburg, Miss.
“We didn’t make our free throws,” USF coach Seth Greenberg said. “Our No. 1 key is to out-tough them. … We were not as tough as we needed to be.”
The Bulls made 61.1 percent (11-of-18) of their free throws, including 2-of-6 from Danny Oglesby.
Reggie Kohn was the lone bright spot from the free-throw line, making 4-of-4.
The senior point guard also had a season-high 21 points, scoring 15 of those from beyond the three-point line.
“I don’t evaluate performances by the number of points,” Greenberg said. “He made shots, and he made some big shots. I don’t evaluate his game on made or missed shots. His game is evaluated on leadership and things of that nature.
“His job is to lead the team.”
Kohn wasn’t the only player making shots Saturday night, as Southern Miss connected on 58.3 percent of their shots.
The Golden Eagles were the first team to shoot more than 40 percent against USF since Feb. 12 when the Bulls lost 85-67 to UAB as the Blazers shot 46.7 percent.
Southern Miss (12-14, 5-10) shot 40.7 percent from the field in the first half and 50 percent in the second half.
“The second half, we didn’t contest shots as well,” Greenberg said. “In the first half, we did a good job getting to shooters.
“They’re not a great shooting team, and I don’t think our guys had the same sense of urgency because they’re not a historically good shooting team.”
The Golden Eagles had three players score in double figures, including two scoring 16 points each.
Southern Miss passed the ball a lot through the Bulls’ interior, which allowed center Charles Gaines to score 16 points and grab 11 rebounds.
As the ball traveled through the middle of the paint more, it allowed center Will McDonald to get six steals.
The 6-foot-11 center scored 16 points while grabbing nine boards and tallying two blocks.
“Will is playing his heart out, and he had some scoring opportunities,” Greenberg said. “He couldn’t finish because he couldn’t handle the ball (because of a broken thumb).”