(Tampa, FL) David Collins scored a career-high 31 points and USF erased a 25-point deficit en route to an 82-79 overtime victory over Stony Brook Wednesday evening in the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational.
Alexis Yetna added 15 points and 14 rebounds to post his league-leading 12th double-double of the season, and Michael Durr finished with 13 points and four rebounds to help USF secure its first postseason victory since the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
Jaron Cornish led Stony Brook with 21 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and three steals, while Akwasi Yeboah scored 19 points and Miles Latimer had 14 off the bench.
Stony Brook (24-9) used a 33-6 run during the first half to build a 48-23 lead and hand the Bulls their second-largest deficit of the season. USF scored the final seven points of the half, including six from Collins (Youngstown, Ohio), to trim the Seawolves’ advantage to 18 heading into halftime.
USF (20-13) opened the second half on a 22-6 run and clawed within two points on a pair of free throws from Yetna at the 9:32 mark. The Bulls would pull even with Stony Brook three more times thereafter before finally taking the lead on a basket by Laquincy Rideau with 3:15 remaining.
Anthony Ochefu gave Stony Brook a 66-64 edge with 1:17 left on two free throws, but Collins answered on the other end for USF to tie the game at 66. Collins nearly ended the game in regulation seconds later after stealing the ball at midcourt, but his potential game-winning layup was reviewed and deemed after the buzzer.
Collins opened overtime with a three-pointer and USF never trailed in the extra session on its way to the program’s fifth 20-win season in program history. Stony Brook got to within one point in the final minute, but USF hit five free throws over the final 24 seconds to seal the victory.
USF advances to face Utah Valley in the CBI quarterfinals Monday at 7 p.m. at the Yuengling Center in Tampa.
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