USF (8-21, 1-15) was unable to get past Tulane (14-14, 5-11) Saturday, falling to the Green Wave 79-68 in front of 2,228 at the Sun Dome.
Freshman guard David Collins scored a team-high 17 points in 35 minutes of play.
“I think we had a slow start (in the) first half,” Collins said. “We didn’t rebound the ball well and that led to them getting out in transition and getting extra shots. That put us in a deficit and it was hard to come back.”
The Bulls recorded only 14 rebounds in the first half. Adding to their first half woes, they only shot 39 percent from the field.
“Not a energetic enough effort from our guys today,” coach Brian Gregory said. “We had some guys who did, again, some good things. But we need multiple guys doing a lot of good things. The thing I look at – they had 33 baskets and 20 assists. So, they were able to move the ball whenever they wanted and wherever they wanted.”
Of Tulane’s 79 total points, 38 came in the paint.
“[We] didn’t do a good enough job guarding the straight line-drives,” Gregory said. “The other thing is – they post up all five positions. As a guard, you’re gonna be caught guarding the post, which is not natural. We did a great job in New Orleans in what we call bluing, or fronting, the post. Today, we did not do a good job of that.”
On the positive side of things for USF, in addition to Collins’ 17 points, the Bulls had three other scorers in double figures. Graduate guard Stephan Jiggetts scored 14 points, senior forward Isaiah Manderson scored 12 points and graduate forward Payton Banks scored 10 points.
Tulane was led offensively by four scorers in double figures as well. Those four were sophomore forward Samir Sehic who scored 17 points, junior guards Melvin Frazier and Jordan Cornish scored 16 and 11 points respectively and freshman guard Caleb Daniels scored 13 points.
Up next for USF is their penultimate game of the regular season. The Bulls travel to Memphis on Thursday for a 9 p.m. tip off at FedEx Forum. Already solidified as the worst team in the AAC, a win over the Tigers would push USF’s AAC win total to two, one more win than they recorded last season.