(Storrs, CT) USF held the lead with less than a minute to go but couldn’t secure the program’s first-ever win at UConn in a 60-58 loss before a crowd of 9,034 Gampel Pavilion on Sunday.
David Collins’ two free throws gave the Bulls a 54-53 advantage with 1:04 remaining before UConn pulled ahead with a jumper 16 seconds later and made five free throws in the final 30 seconds.
USF (18-11, 7-9 in AAC) erased a seven-point deficit in the second half and was seeking a season series sweep of the Huskies. UConn (14-15, 5-11 in AAC) went 20-for-27 from the free throw line overall but saw its streak of 338 straight games with a made three-pointer snapped.
Collins scored a game-high 17 points and set a new career high by going 11-for-13 from the free throw line in a historic outing for the Bulls. USF set the program’s new season record for free throw attempts (808) while making 17 of 22 tries from the line.
Alexis Yetna just missed his 11th double-double of the season with 15 points and eight rebounds. Michael Durr grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to help the Bulls rule the boards by a 46-33 margin.
Laquincy Rideau knocked down his second three-pointer to give the Bulls a 48-46 lead with 6:11 to play, which marked USF’s final field goal. The redshirt junior guard finished with eight points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Antun Maricevic continued his hot stretch with eight points in 15 minutes. The junior forward went 4-for-7 from the field and has shot 72.7 percent in the past four games.
Yetna led the Bulls with 12 points and seven rebounds in a back-and-forth first half that UConn ended up leading, 28-27.
Yetna’s second layup of the game gave the Bulls their second lead, 6-5, about six minutes into the action. Threes by Rideau and Yetna sparked a 10-0 run that put USF ahead, 27-24, before the Huskies took a one-point lead into the break.
USF jumped back ahead with a layup by Durr in the first minute of the second half. Down by seven, USF roared back into the lead with a 9-0 run that was capped off by Rideau’s three with 6:11 to play.
Three ties followed before Christian Vital’s free throw put UConn ahead, 53-52, with 1:16 remaining. Collins’ free throws tipped the score back into USF’s favor, but Alterique Gilbert’s floater in the paint with 48 seconds remaining started a 4-0 UConn run.
Two more free throws by Collins got the Bulls back within one with 28 seconds left and the sophomore had a chance to tie it with 3.5 seconds on the clock. After being fouled from beyond the arc, Collins sank two of three throws and USF couldn’t get a shot off on its final possession to at least force overtime.
USF wraps up a two-game road trip at Tulane on Wednesday, March 6 at 8 p.m. Game broadcast on ESPN3.
ga('create', 'UA-96384574-1', 'auto');