USF men’s basketball fell short of a 20-win regular season with a 77-71 loss against SMU on Sunday at the Yuengling Center in the team's final game before the AAC Tournament.
The Bulls came into Sunday looking for the fifth 20-win season in program history and first since 2011-12. SMU had other plans as they controlled the game with fastbreak scoring and a high field-goal percentage.
The Bulls struggled to shoot from the field as they were held to 35 percent shooting. They were also outscored 18-0 on fastbreak points.
“We got some good looks, just didn’t make them,” coach Brian Gregory said. “Unless you’re looking to score with your whole heart, sometimes that ball isn’t going in.”
With Laquincy Rideau, the AAC’s leader in assists and steals, out of the lineup for a second straight game due to a minor injury, senior T.J. Lang was placed into the starting lineup. Lang finished with seven points.
Freshman Alexis Yetna, the league leader in rebounds, scored 17 points and gathered 13 rebounds. Sophomore David Collins, despite a poor shooting night, contributed with 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
While the Bulls shot just 26 percent from 3-point range, they did manage to set a new single-season record for 3-pointers made with 214.
The Bulls finish their regular season at 19-12 and 8-10 in conference play and will be the No. 8-seed in the AAC Tournament later this week. They will take on No. 9-seed UConn in the first game of the tournament Thursday at 1 p.m. at FedEx Forum in Memphis.
“We’re going to get back to our identity,” Collins said. “Whoever we play, we’re going to be ready. We’re going to come out full force.”