13 Dec 2021 | 16:46 | Basketball
TAMPA, Fla., DEC. 2, 2020 – South Florida big men Alexis Yetna and Michael Durr combined for 27 points, 18 rebounds and three blocked shots to lead the Bulls to a 76-57 victory over Florida Gulf Coast Wednesday afternoon at the Yuengling Center.
USF improved to 2-0 all-time against Florida Gulf Coast and has won 16 consecutive games against the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Durr (Atlanta) finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and two blocks, while Yetna (Paris) tallied 13 points, nine rebounds and one block. Caleb Murphy (Youngstown, Ohio) added 12 points and three assists and Justin Brown (Atlanta) had 10 points and three assists.
Florida Gulf Coast guard Jalen Warren led the Eagles with 15 points and two steals. Cyrus Largie scored 12 points to go along with six rebounds off the bench.
USF (2-2) built an early 23-7 lead less than seven minutes into the game before a 13-6 run by the Eagles trimmed the lead to nine on a dunk by Justus Rainwater. The Bulls, however, closed the half on a 12-4 run and used a basket from Xavier Castaneda (Chicago) in the final seconds to go ahead 41-24 at intermission.
The Eagles cut the deficit to nine points minutes into the second half on a layup by Warren, but Murphy hit a three-pointer on the ensuing possession to push the lead back to double digits at 46-34. The Bulls would go on to lead by as many as 22 points and held Florida Gulf Coast to nine consecutive missed field goals to end the game.
“I was pleased with the response today in three key areas. We wanted to take better care of the basketball and I thought we did that. We wanted to play the game with much more physicality, especially defensively and on the glass. The last thing we wanted was to share the ball, and finishing with 14 assists was pretty good for us. I thought it was a total team effort tonight, and our strength is going to be multiple guys playing minutes and maybe wearing down some teams with our physicality and energy, and I thought we saw that a lot tonight.” — USF head coach Brian Gregory.
• USF has won 16 consecutive games against the Atlantic Sun and is a perfect 2-0 against FGCU.
• USF improved to 23-6 at home against non-conference competition under head coach Brian Gregory.
• Head coach Brian Gregory is two wins shy of 300 for his career.
• USF sophomore guard Jamir Chaplin made his first career start and finished with six points.
9 – The USF defense forced Florida Gulf Coast to miss its final nine shots of the game.
23.3 – USF limited Florida Gulf Coast to a .233 shooting percentage from three-point range.
21 – USF scored 21 points off 15 Florida Gulf Coast turnovers.
USF continues a three-game homestand on Friday at 5 p.m. when the Bulls host in-state foe Florida A&M at 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 300 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 College Basketball Invitational.