Men’s basketball defeats Florida College

T.J. Lang was one of five scorers in double figures in the win over Florida College on Tuesday. ORACLE PHOTO/BRIAN HATTAB

USF men’s basketball showed off its depth Tuesday as the team got back into the win column Tuesday following two losses with a 95-54 victory against Florida College at the Yuengling Center.

With its top two leading scorers, David Collins and Laquincy Rideau, sitting out, USF’s bench was forced to step up.

The game against Florida College served as a makeup for USF's Dec. 9 game against Charlotte, which was canceled due to winter weather in the Carolinas. Nevertheless, USF dominated in all facets, as all 10 players who stepped on the court recorded a basket. The Bulls outrebounded Florida College by 38 and had 50 bench points.

“Everybody that played, played really well today,” senior T.J. Lang said. “Everybody who stepped foot on the court played extremely hard and I’m just proud of everybody.”

Lang had 12 points and was one of five players to score in double figures, including freshman Rashun Williams, who scored 14 points to mark a new season best.

Freshman guard Xavier Castaneda started at point guard in place of Rideau. Castaneda tied his season high with 12 points and surpassed his season highs with six assists and four rebounds.

Junior forward Antun Maricevic set season highs with 16 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Mayan Kiir also contributed 15 points and gathered up eight rebounds, both setting new season highs.

Players who rarely see game time were given minutes. Senior guard Ron Lubin and freshman walk-on Mark Calleja played in the final minutes. Calleja drilled a 3-pointer and the USF bench went wild.

In the final minute of the game, Lubin drove to the basket and knocked down his first bucket of the year, causing joyful mayhem on the USF bench.

“We got out of today everything we were hoping to,” coach Brian Gregory said. “Guys got to play who hadn’t maybe logged as many minutes and I give our guys credit, they responded extremely well.”

The victory marks USF’s 14th home win this season. It is the first time the team has recorded at least 14 wins at the Yuengling Center since the 1982-83 season.

The Bulls will head to Houston on Saturday to take on the No. 9-ranked Cougars at 6 p.m.

“Good game today, day off tomorrow. We should be well rested, well prepared against one of the top five or six teams in the country,” Gregory said. “We’re going to have to play exceptionally well, we're going to have to play with great toughness… And I have all the confidence in the world that we will.”