NOTEBOOK: Dominant second half lifts Bulls over Loyola Chicago

David Collins scored 21 points in USF’s victory over Loyola Chicago on Monday. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/GOUSFBULLS

USF men’s basketball (3-2) used a second-half comeback to defeat Loyola Chicago 66-56 on Monday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Cayman Islands Classic in George Town, Grand Cayman.

The Bulls held Loyola (3-3) without a field goal for the final 10:27 of the game, going on a 16-2 run in the process. 

USF forced five turnovers in the process, bringing the total number of Loyola turnovers to 20. The Bulls have forced 20 turnovers in all five games this season.

The run to end the game was a stark contrast to how the afternoon started, as Loyola went eight of its first nine from the floor.

“Our defense was tremendous, and it was just so active,” coach Brian Gregory said in a statement. “We started pressuring the ball more, but we didn’t get stretched and give up the back cuts and the back-door plays. The guys on the ball made all the difference in the world.”

David Collins, Laquincy Rideau and Justin Brown posted double figures for the Bulls with 21, 17 and 11 points, respectively.

USF shot 22-of-44 from the field and outrebounded Loyola, 24-21.

The Bulls face New Mexico State (3-3) on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in the semifinals of the Cayman Islands Classic. (TV: FloHoops | Radio: Bulls Unlimited on iHeartRadio)

Women’s basketball moves up one spot; Mununga earns honors

Following a 1-1 week, which included a 12-point loss to defending national champion Baylor and a 39-point romping of Saint Francis (Pa.), USF women’s basketball moved up one spot in the AP Top 25 on Monday to No. 21.

USF’s loss to Baylor was the Bears’ closest margin of victory this season. Baylor subsequently defeated Lamar by 62 points Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Bulls held Saint Francis without a field goal for more than 26 minutes Sunday in their 62-23 victory at the Yuengling Center.

USF, who began the season receiving votes, has moved up in the poll each week since entering the top 25 in Week 2.

Additionally, junior forward Bethy Mununga was named to the AAC Honor Roll for the second week in a row.

Mununga averaged nearly a double-double last week, with 12 points and nine rebounds. Her 16 points and 12 rebounds against Baylor were career highs.

Bulls move down one spot

After falling to now-No. 4 FSU in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 on Sunday, USF women’s soccer moved down one spot to No. 12 in the latest ranking, which was released Monday.

The Bulls have been ranked in the Top Drawer poll all season, reaching as high as No. 10 back in September.

Top Drawer will release two more polls this season: One following the Elite Eight next Monday and a final, postseason poll the day after the conclusion of the Women’s College Cup, which takes place Dec. 6-8 in San Jose, California.