Junior guard Anthony Collins held USF together in a back-and-forth exhibition game against Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) for a 77-72 victory Saturday afternoon.
The lead changed eight times and coach Orlando Antigua said he was most impressed with Collins’ leadership.
“When the stuff started going up and down, he was talking, he was organizing, he was bringing the guys together,” Antigua said. “That’s what we need from guys with
Collins accounted for 22 points, hitting all 12 of his free throws and going 5-of-10 from the floor.
“It felt like I was coming out of high school for my first college game all over again,” Collins said.
Collins missed 24 games last season due to swelling in his left knee, but said he felt fully recovered in his first game back.
Collins was one of three Bulls to score double digits. Senior guard Corey Allen Jr. accounted for 17 points and junior center Jaleel Cousins scored 13.
The Bulls started with a 7-0 run, which was ignited by junior guard Nehemias Morillo’s 3-pointer less than a minute into the game.
But the Crimson Hawks tied it at eight with fewer than 16 minutes to go in the half. The lead changed five more times before IUP forward Daddy Ugbede tied it at 37 with a layup to head into halftime.
“There were some ups and downs,” Antigua said. “For a young team to be able to have a lead, get close to losing it and respond to finish out the game this early, I was impressed with that.”
The Bulls shot 35.7 percent from the field in the first half and came back to shoot 51.9 percent in the second.
Ugbede led the Crimson Hawks with 20 total points, making all eight of his free throws and going 6-of-11 from the floor.
IUP coach Joe Lombardi has led his team to the NCAA tournament in each of his last six seasons, compiling a 154-35 record.
The Bulls begin the regular season against Flagler College on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Sun Dome.