USF trailed UConn 41-37 with nine minutes remaining in the game Sunday afternoon when Huskies guard Ryan Boatright took over the game.
The senior guard scored a layup off a pass from guard Sam Cassell Jr. to give the Huskies a six-point lead. He would go on to score UConn’s next 11 points, giving them enough of a boost to put away the Bulls in the final minutes as they coasted to a 66-53 win at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut.
With sophomore forward Chris Perry sitting out the game due to chest pain suffered in practice Saturday evening, USF was outmatched on the glass all afternoon.
Perry has averaged 7.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in just over 26 minutes per game, and his 6-foot-8, 242-pound frame was missed in the post.
UConn out-rebounded USF 35-18 and also blocked six of the Bulls’ shots. Coach Orlando Antigua played center Ruben Guerrero and forward Bo Zeigler in the absence of Perry; the two freshmen were able to grab only four rebounds in 59 combined minutes of playing time.
Perry returned from a nearby hospital to USF’s bench at halftime and his status is uncertain going forward.
Boatright finished the game with a season-high 28 points on 7-for-10 shooting. Guard Rodney Purvis was the only other Husky to reach double figures, scoring 17 points on 4-for-9 shooting.
While the Bulls’ size disadvantage was difficult to overcome, the lack of scoring proved to be the final nail in the coffin.
USF scored only 20 points in the first half, and leading scorer, senior guard Corey Allen Jr., scored 11 points on 4-for-11 shooting. Junior guard Nehemias Morillo was the only USF player to find any success on offense, leading the Bulls with 18 points.
USF will look to shed its five-game losing streak when it hosts SMU on Wednesday in the Sun Dome at 7 p.m.