STORRS, Conn., FEB. 7, 2018 – The Bulls had a shot to tie it at the end, but David Collins’ three-point attempt was just off as USF fell to UConn, 68-65, on Wednesday night.
Stephan Jiggetts (Forestville, Md.) led the Bulls (8-17, 1-11 AAC) in scoring for the second straight game and the 11th time this season, finishing with 18 on the night. All but three of his points came in the second half. He also added four assists on the night.
Isaiah Manderson (Bronx, N.Y.) had a strong night in all areas for USF, finishing with 15 points and eight rebounds on 6-for-7 from the field. Manderson was strong on the offensive glass, finishing with five offensive rebounds.
As a whole, the Bulls dominated the glass in the game, finishing plus-nine on the boards over the Huskies. USF had 36 rebounds on the night, compared to 27 for UConn. The true difference came on the offensive side, as the Bulls had 15 offensive rebounds compared to only five for the Huskies.
The Bulls had four different players with five or more rebounds. Malik Martin, Justin Brown, and Nikola Scekic all finished with five on the night. Four of Scekic’s five boards came on the offensive end.
USF also had four players in double figures in the game. Payton Banks (Orange, Calif.) finished with 12 points on 4-of-9 from the field. Banks also had three steals and a block in the game.
Collins (Youngstown, Ohio) had his third straight double-digit effort, finishing with 11 points.
24 – The Bulls had 24 second chance points, compared to four for the Huskies.
24 – USF had a 24-15 advantage in bench points on the night.
93.3 – The Bulls shot 93.3 percent (14-for-15) from the free throw line in the game, tying the sixth-best performance in team history in a game in terms of free throw percentage. It was the best free throw shooting performance for the Bulls since Feb. 25, 2009, when the team shot 94.4 percent (17-for-18) in a game at Seton Hall.
Head Coach Brian Gregory on the overall effort:
“It’s one of the tough things, when you get with the team afterwards. They played with such great effort. The only negative was the last five minutes of the first half. We got out of sorts a little bit. But, you know, we talk about the building blocks and what we’re trying to do, the one good thing was I thought for the first time we got out of sorts and we rallied the troops, the guys stuck together, and we kept fighting. We played really well in the second half, did a lot of good things, got a lot of good basketball from a lot of different guys.”
“We rebounded the ball extremely well. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know where that came from, but we did. I thought we executed some really good actions in the second half. We missed some really, really high quality looks, but you can walk out of here, never satisfied with a loss, but very satisfied with the effort, very satisfied with the grit we played with.”
The Bulls shot above 90 percent from the free throw line for the second time in the last three games. USF shot 92.3 percent (24-for-26) from the line against Memphis on Jan. 31.
The Bulls shot 45.5 percent (15-for-33) from the field in the second half after shooting 28.6 percent (8-for-28) in the first.
Terrence Samuel (Brooklyn, N.Y.) finished with four rebounds in his return to UConn. Samuel played for the Huskies for the first two seasons of his college career, including helping UConn to the 2014 national title as a freshman.
The Bulls return home to face Temple on Saturday at the Sun Dome. Tip-off is scheduled for noon and will be broadcast on ESPNU. The game is our annual Autism Awareness game in support of Coaches Powering Forward for Autism and Autism Speaks. Get your tickets at USFBullsTix.com.
About USF Men’s Basketball
The USF men’s basketball team is led by head coach Brian Gregory. On March 22, Gregory was introduced as the 10th head coach in program history. He previously led programs at Georgia Tech (2011-16) and Dayton (2003-11). Gregory spent nearly a decade as an assistant coach under Michigan State’s Hall of Fame head coach Tom Izzo and helped the Spartans win the 2000 NCAA National Championship. Gregory brings nearly 250 career head coaching wins and six postseason appearances, including the 2010 NIT Championship, to Tampa.
USF has retired three numbers in its 47-year history: Chucky Atkins (12), Charlie Bradley (30) and Radenko Dobras (31). The Bulls have earned three NCAA tournament bids and appeared in the NIT eight times.
For tickets, contact the USF Ticket Office at 1-800-Go-Bulls or by going online to USFBullsTix.com.