TAMPA, NOV. 10, 2019 – USF turned in another strong defensive effort by forcing 28 turnovers and collecting 18 steals, but Derryck Thornton scored a game-high 22 points to lead Boston College to a 74-60 victory Sunday afternoon at the Yuengling Center.
Nik Popovic finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, and Julian Rishwain added 11 points and three rebounds off the bench.
David Collins (Youngstown, Ohio) led USF with 19 points and seven steals, while Laquincy Rideau (West Palm Beach, Fla.) had 14 points and Ezacuras Dawson III (Miami) tied his career high with 11 points.
A Michael Durr (Atlanta) free throw gave USF a 26-17 lead with 7:17 left in the first half, but Boston College closed on a 26-6 run and used a three-pointer at the buzzer by Popovic to build a 43-32 lead at halftime.
USF scored the first two baskets of the second half to trim the lead to seven on a jumper from Justin Brown (Atlanta) and a layup by Rideau. Popovic answered for Boston College on the ensuing possession with a three-pointer to push the lead back to 10. USF cut the lead to single digits minutes later on a free throw by Rashun Williams (Arlington, Ga.), but back-to-back layups put the Eagles ahead 50-37.
Head coach Brian Gregory on the game:
“Give Boston College a lot of credit. They really played well today and really hurt us on the glass. Mitchell dominated the game and only took four shots. He had 13 rebounds, five offensive, six assists and only one turnover. Thornton from the point guard position did a great job of running his team. We didn’t defend well enough and we got out of sorts. We played really hard but kind of got over-juiced on our defense. Offensively, we’ve got to be able to make some open shots. We probably left 10 to 15 points on the rim on missed layups in the first half. You can’t do that against the quality of opponents that we’re now playing.”
• USF totaled 18 steals to tie for the eighth-most in a single game in school history.
• USF forced Boston College into 28 turnovers to record the eighth-most in a single game in school history.
• David Collins scored 19 points and is only 107 points shy from becoming the 20th member of the USF 1,000 point club.
• USF connected on six 3-pointers and has made at least one trey in 131 consecutive games.
58.8 – Boston College shot 58.8 percent in the second half while holding USF to 32.4 percent.
18 – USF finished with 18 steals and capitalized with 18 points off turnovers.
USF continues a four-game homestand Wednesday at 7 p.m. when the Bulls welcome IUPUI to the Yuengling Center.
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About USF Men’s Basketball
The USF men’s basketball team is led by head coach Brian Gregory. On March 22, 2017, 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 owns nearly 250 career head coaching wins and six postseason appearances, including the 2010 NIT Championship. In his second season at the helm of the Bulls, Gregory led the team to the best win turnaround in the NCAA, the most single-season wins in school history and the 2019 College Basketball Invitational championship.
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, appeared in the NIT eight times and won the 2019 CBI championship.
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