The pieces are there. Now, it’s time to fit them together.
After the USF men’s basketball team suffered its fourth straight loss to start the season Saturday night at the Sun Dome, Boston University coach Joe Jones looked at his team’s 78-66 victory over the Bulls and remembered what it was like to be on the other side.
“I’ve been where coach (Orlando) Antigua has been in terms of taking over a program and having some good pieces,” Jones said. “That’s what I see right now with this team.”
Specifically, Jones noted the Bulls’ edge in size and athleticism, which they used to win the battle of the boards 41-30.
“Physically, they’re a very imposing team,” Jones said.
But mentally, putting together a full 40-minute game is something the Bulls have failed to do and they have dug their biggest hole since starting a program-worst 0-5 in 1987.
“I’d say we took two steps back today because of our work ethic,” said senior center Jaleel Cousins, who recorded his first double-double. “I don’t think we went hard as a team, like everybody just didn’t give it their all.”
Cousins said he worked hard over the summer to get in better shape after averaging 2.9 points last season, and the results have shown. The senior locked in on both ends, scoring a career-best 14 points and 12 rebounds.
“We need to see that Jaleel every night,” Antigua said. “It’s a good piece to have. Now, we need some other pieces to add to that.”
Coming off a 73-67 loss to George Washington on Thursday, USF led by as many as eight in the first half. But after Boston (2-2) took a 34-32 lead into the break, the Bulls were never able to find the clutch basket to catch up.
A 19-8 run at the start of the second extended the Terriers’ lead to 13, and they never looked back.
Three-pointers also made much of the difference. Boston, which came in averaging 11.7 a game, drained 10, while the Bulls were a paltry 0 of 10 beyond the arc.
Boston guard Cheddi Mosely finished with a game-high 21 points, and four Terriers scored in double digits.
“We have to continue to stick with the process of working every day, not worrying about the results,” said Antigua, whose team hosts Albany on Tuesday at 7 p.m. “The results will happen if we do the work every day.
“That’s what we’re hanging our hat on.”
Women: Bulls give No. 5 Baylor scare
Senior guard Courtney Williams scored a team-high 23 points, but missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer in No. 19 USF’s 66-63 defeat at No. 5 Baylor on Thursday night in Waco, Texas.
The Bears (3-0) never trailed after opening the game on an 11-0 run, but the Bulls (2-1) managed to pull within one point twice in the final period.
Laura Ferreira finished with 14 points for USF and Alisia Jenkins surpassed 1,000-career rebounds with 14 boards.
The Bulls host Butler on Wednesday at 7 p.m.