Tag Archives: American Athletic Conference

UCF Defeats USF 78-65 in Orlando Ending Bulls 5 Game Winning Streak

(Orlando, FL) Tacko Fall scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds and UCF snapped USF’s five-game winning streak with a 78-65 victory Wednesday evening at CFE Arena.

David Collins scored 20 points for his fourth consecutive game with at least 20 points. Justin Brown added 12 points and made three 3-pointers, and Laquincy Rideau finished with 10 points, five assist and five steals.

UCF (18-5, 8-3) scored the first 13 points of the game and held USF without a field goal until the 14:26 mark of the first half when T.J. Lang hit a three-pointer to cut the Knights’ lead to 13-4.

B.J. Taylor gave UCF its largest lead of the first half with two free throws at the 3:37 mark to put the Knights ahead 33-14. A basket from Alexis Yetna and a three-pointer by Brown in the final two minutes pulled USF within 10 points, 35-25, with 59 seconds before halftime. Yetna had a game-high 12 rebounds in his return from a two-game absence due to injury.

UCF used one free throw and a three-pointer from Terrell Allen at the buzzer to push its lead back to 14 at halftime. The Bulls shot just 28.6 percent from the field and 18.2 percent from three-point range in the first half.

UCF lead by as much as 26 points in the second half and shot 61.1 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes. USF closed the game on an 8-1 run to trim the margin to 13 points.

The Bulls continue league play Saturday at 6 p.m. when the Bulls host Temple on ESPNU at the Yuengling Center.





USF Defeats ECU 72-68 in OT to Extend Winning Streak to 5

(Tampa, FL) Mayan Kiir’s big-time block before the buzzer sent things to overtime and USF took care of business at the free throw line down the stretch of a 72-68 victory over East Carolina on Sunday at the Yuengling Center.

USF (17-6, 7-4 in AAC) secured its first five-game winning streak in league play since the 1991-92 season by sinking 16 free throws after David Collins registered the Bulls’ final field goal with 6:09 left in regulation.

Collins finished with a game-high 21 points after making nine of 12 free throws, including three in overtime to help USF go 10-for-14 from the charity stripe in the final five minutes.
Star forward Alexis Yetna missed his second straight game with an injury and Kiir played a huge role in his place. In addition to making the defensive play of the game, the sophomore from Bradenton, Fla., scored eight of his career-high 13 points after USF headed into halftime trailing, 39-28.

Laquincy Rideau made a pair of clutch free throws to tie the game at 62-62 with 12 seconds left in regulation. The redshirt junior guard finished with 12 points and four assists while the Bulls posted their second five-game winning streak of the season, a program first since 1990-91.

Justin Brown added 10 points while freshman forward Michael Durr pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds as USF dominated on the boards by a 46-22 margin.

ECU (9-14, 2-9 AAC) knocked down six of its first eight threes on the way to building a 39-28 halftime lead. The Pirates opened the game with a 17-7 advantage after making their first four shots from long range.

USF answered the bell right after the break and used a 14-2 run to take a 47-45 lead with 12:17 to play. ECU jumped back ahead by three before USF fired back with a 7-0 run and Brown’s three spotted the Bulls a 54-50 advantage.

The Pirates took the lead back with 3:37 left in regulation and stayed ahead until Rideau’s game-tying free throws with 12 seconds remaining. USF pulled ahead for the final time with 1:53 left in overtime on a pair of free throws by Kiir and the Bulls’ defense limited ECU to a 2-for-8 shooting performance from the field in the final period.

“You’ve got to give our guys credit”, said Bulls Head Coach Brian Gregory. “They kind of dug in there in the second half and got just enough stops to put us in some offensive positions where we could score the ball finally and do what we do, which is defend. We didn’t score a basket for the last six minutes or in overtime, but we scored 16 points because we’re an aggressive, hard-charging team and we’ve gotten better shooting the free throws.”

USF travels to Orlando for a War on I-4 clash with rival UCF on Wednesday, Feb. 13. The 7 p.m. matchup will be televised on ESPNews.





USF Bulls Edge SMU 67-66 on Collins Clutch 3 Pointer

(Dallas, TX) David Collins sank a go-ahead three with six seconds remaining as USF stunned SMU, 67-66, Thursday night at Moody Coliseum.

Collins’ clutch shot helped USF (16-6, 6-4 in AAC) extend its winning streak to four games, the Bulls’ longest string of victories in league play since the magical 2011-12 season in the Big East. USF also improved to 10 games above .500 for the first time since March 1992.

Collins set up his game-winning shot with another three that tied the game at 64-64 with 1:12 remaining. The sophomore guard finished his heroic outing with a game-high 23 points and made three of USF’s season-high 11 threes.

Laquincy Rideau added 14 points, nine assists and six rebounds while making program history with his defense. The redshirt junior guard became USF’s new single-season steals leader with 69.

USF was without the services of star forward Alexis Yetna, who sat out with an injury. Freshman Michael Durr stepped up with eight points and grabbed a loose ball to help set up Collins’ game-winning shot.

Thursday’s back-and-forth first half featured 10 lead changes and USF seized the momentum just before the break with a 9-0 run that spotted the Bulls a 39-35 advantage.

Rideau sank one of his career high-tying four first-half threes during the late surge and led the Bulls with 13 points at the break on top of totaling six assists. Rideau also set the USF single-season steals record in the opening period.

Collins scored five of his 10 first-half points in the final two minutes and made four of his first seven shots. USF went 52 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes and knocked down seven threes.

Xavier Castaneda’s steal-and-score put the Bulls up by eight with 5:08 remaining in the second half before SMU (12-10, 4-6 in AAC) went on an 11-0 run and took a 64-61 lead with 1:27 to play.
Collins’s second three of the game tied things up with 1:12 to play and his third bucket from long range, off a nice pass from Rideau, gave the Bulls the game-sealing bucket with six seconds to go.

“We set up a play to get a three, if it was available,” said Bulls Head Coach Brian Gregory. “We weren’t going to force one. If they overplayed it, then we were going to try to attack the basket. That’s what we did the play before and David did a pretty good job.”

USF returns to the Yuengling Center to host East Carolina on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. (TV: ESPN3).





USF Bulls 2019 Football Schedule Released

(Tampa, FL) The USF football team will open its third season under head coach Charlie Strong with a primetime clash vs. Wisconsin on Friday, Aug. 30 nationally televised on an ESPN network from Raymond James Stadium. The American Athletic Conference announced the 2019 schedules for all 12 conference teams on Thursday.

The clash with the Badgers, No. 17 in the CBS Sports Way-too-early Top 25 rankings for 2019, moving to Friday night of Labor Day weekend was among the highlights of a 2019 schedule that will see the Bulls play seven games in Raymond James Stadium, including five against opponents that played in bowl games last season.

The Bulls’ conference slate is highlighted by three straight November home clashes with conference title contenders Temple (2018 East Division runner-up), Cincinnati (2018 East Division third place) and Memphis (back-to-back West Division winner) before the regular season finale in the War on I-4 in Orlando. Kickoff times and remaining television designations will be announced at a later date.

The Bulls will open their 23rd season of football with their biggest season opener since winning on the road at No. 16 Notre Dame (23-20) to open the 2011 campaign. The Wisconsin game, which was originally slated for an Aug. 31 kick, will pit the Bulls against a Badger program coming off its 17th straight bowl appearance and returning Doak Walker Award winner Jonathan Taylor, who ran for 2,194 yards last season. Wisconsin appears in multiple preseason Top 25 polls after an 8-5 season capped by a 35-3 victory over Miami in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. The Badgers won the first meeting with USF, 27-10, in 2014 in Madison, Wisc.

USF will travel to Georgia Tech on Sat., Sept. 7 for the second meeting between the schools. The Bulls used 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to post a 49-38 comeback win vs. Tech in Tampa last year. The Bulls return home on Sat., Sept. 14 to face South Carolina State and get the first of two byes on the season the following week before opening conference play in Raymond James Stadium on Sat., Sept. 28 vs. SMU. The Bulls own a 3-1 record vs. the Mustangs and it will be the first meeting since a 35-27 victory in Dallas in 2016.

USF will hit the road to face UConn on Sat., Oct. 5. The Bulls own an 11-5 record vs. the Huskies and have won the last seven meetings. USF will wrap up its non-conference slate vs. BYU on Sat., Oct. 12. It will be the first meeting with the Cougars, who posted a 7-6 mark and defeated Western Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl last season.

USF returns to conference action with back-to-back road games. The Bulls will travel to Navy on Sat., Oct. 19 for a game televised on CBS Sports Network and then head to ECU on Sat. Oct. 26 as conference play heats up.

USF will get its second bye of the season before a strong closing slate against teams that posted a combined conference record of 26-6 last year. The Bulls will get the first three of those games at home starting with a Thurs., Nov. 7 primetime game vs. Temple on ESPN. USF fell to 2-3 vs. the Owls after a 27-17 loss in Philadelphia last year as Temple went 7-1 in the conference and finished second in the East Division. The Bulls beat Temple, 43-7, in 2017 in a Thursday primetime clash in Raymond James Stadium.

Cincinnati comes to Tampa on Sat., Nov. 16 followed by a visit by defending West Division champion Memphis on Sat., Nov. 23. The Bearcats posted an 11-2 record last season, including a 35-23 victory over USF in Cincinnati to take a 9-7 lead in the series and end a string of three straight USF wins. Memphis posted an 8-6 record last season and fell in the conference championship game for the second straight year. The Tigers lead the series with USF, 5-4, but the Bulls posted a 49-42 victory in Memphis in the last meeting in 2016.

The Bulls close out the 2019 regular season with the traditional Friday clash with UCF. The 11th installment of the War on I-4 is set for Fri., Nov. 29 in Orlando and will be broadcast on an ESPN Network to be designated later. USF leads the series, 6-4, but will look to end a string of two straight wins by the Knights, who claimed a 38-10 victory in Tampa last year and won an epic 49-42 game in the last meeting in Orlando in 2017.

The American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the home site of the division winner with the better conference record.





USF Tops Memphis 84-78 Saturday in Tampa for Third Straight Win

(Tampa, FL) Justin Brown scored a career-high 19 points and made five 3-pointers and USF held off a late Memphis rally on its way to an 84-78 victory over the Tigers on Saturday afternoon at the Yuengling Center.

Brown made three of his five three-pointers in the opening five minutes as USF scored the first 19 points of the game and led 27-1 before Memphis made its first field goal at the 10:11 mark on a three-pointer from Kyvon Davenport. USF held Memphis to just four field goals and led 38-13 at halftime to mark the third time this season the Bulls have held an opponent to fewer than 20 points in a half.

David Collins finished with 20 points, five rebounds and two steals and has scored at least 20 points in three of his four career games against Memphis. Laquincy Rideau added 15 points, four rebounds and two steals and tied the USF single-season steals record with his 68th of the season.

Jeremiah Martin led Memphis with 41 points and made 7-of-9 three-pointers and Davenport finished with 13 points of the bench.

A three-pointer from Tyler Harris with 4:18 left in the second half cut the USF lead to 69-60 to pull Memphis within single digits for the first time since the 16:46 mark of the first half. Memphis trimmed the deficit to six points twice in the final minutes on a three-pointer and layup by Martin, but Xavier Castaneda picked up a pass on the final Tiger possession to secure USF’s third straight victory.

USF (15-6, 5-4) shot over 50 percent in each half and finished 47.1 percent from three-point range and 72.7 percent from the free throw line.

“Memphis is really good”, said Bulls Head Coach Brian Gregory. “We talked all week long about how good they’ve been playing and about their ability to comeback or extend games because of their pressure. I thought the way we played in the first 15 minutes was the best we’ve played all year long.

The Bulls continue league play Thursday at 9 p.m. when the Bulls travel to Dallas, Texas, to face SMU at Moody Coliseum.





USF Bulls Defeat Wichita State 54-41 Tuesday Night in Tampa

(Information provided by USF Athletics)
(Tampa, FL) David Collins scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds and USF held Wichita State to its lowest scoring output this season on its way to a 54-41 victory over the Shockers Tuesday evening at the Yuengling Center.

USF (13-6, 3-4) turned in a dominant first half by holding Wichita State to 15 points on 6-for-27 shooting from the field. The Shockers also went 0-for-8 from three-point range in the first half and finished the game 2-for-18 from beyond the arc.

T.J. Lang’s three-pointer seven minutes into play put USF ahead 12-2 and the Bulls would lead by at least six points for the remainder of the half. Five consecutive free throws from USF over the final 2:19 gave the Bulls a 30-15 lead at halftime.

USF took its largest lead on a layup by Mayan Kiir early in the second half to go ahead 35-17, but Wichita State answered with a 14-2 run to cut the deficit to six points with 7:16 remaining. Rideau, who finished with 11 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals, pushed the lead back to eight with a layup and Justin Brown hit a three-pointer on the next USF possession to give the Bulls a 42-33 edge.

Two free throws by Jamarius Burton helped Wichita State pull within five points with just under five minutes left, but two free throws from Kiir and a three-pointer by Alexis Yetna (Paris) extended the lead back to double digits. Samajae Haynes-Jones had the final field goal for Wichita State at the 3:46 mark, and Collins scored the final seven points for USF to help the Bulls improve to 11-2 at home this season.

Markis McDuffie led Wichita State with 11 points and was the only Shocker to score in double figures.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our guys”, said Bulls Head Coach Brian Gregory. “We talked on Sunday that after losing to three of the top four teams in our league, we we’re going to need to respond. I told the guys that we’ll see what our commitment level is towards what we are trying to build, and I thought you saw it tonight. It wasn’t pretty on offense, but it was really good on defense, it was really good.”

The Bulls continue league play Saturday at 4 p.m. when the Bulls travel to Greenville, N.C., to face ECU on ESPNU.





USF Bulls Fall to Houston Cougars 69-60 Saturday Night in Tampa

(Information provided by USF Athletics)

(Tampa, FL) David Collins scored a season-high 23 points, including 21 in the second half, and added three assists and two steals, but No. 17 Houston held off USF on its way to a 69-60 victory Saturday evening at the Yuengling Center.

Breaon Brady scored 13 points and Armoni Brooks added 11 to lead Houston to its third straight victory. Nate Hinton finished with 10 points and five rebounds off the bench.

Alexis Yetna scored 12 points and had seven rebounds for USF before fouling out late in the second half.

Houston (18-1, 5-1) limited USF to 23.8 percent shooting (5-for-21) and finished the first half on a 16-6 run to open a 35-25 lead. The Cougars built the advantage to 16 before Collins scored six points over a two-minute stretch to cap a 12-0 run and help the Bulls whittle their deficit to 47-43 with 10:38 remaining.

Brison Gresham’s three-point play and Galen Robinson’s first points of the night on a short jumper helped the Cougars build the lead back to double-digits. Collins made three free throws to make it a six-point game before Houston closed it out from the foul line.

“I thought we did some good things, but not enough to beat a team like Houston”, said Bulls Head Coach Brian Gregory. “It’s hard to have the turnovers we had in the backcourt and it’s hard to have quality looks and not be able to make any of them. I thought we fought pretty hard, but Houston got every 50-50 ball, not because we weren’t playing hard, but because they just play at a whole other level, and that’s why they are good.”

The Bulls continue league play Tuesday at 8 p.m. when the Bulls host Wichita State on CBS Sports Network at the Yuengling Center.





USF Falls to Cincinnati Bearcats 82-74 Tuesday Night in Ohio

(Information provided by USF Athletics)

(Cincinnati, OH) USF fought back from a 12-point halftime deficit but came up short dropping an 82-74 decision to Cincinnati Tuesday night in Ohio.

USF (12-5, 2-3 in AAC) tied the game up twice after the break, the final time with 6:28 remaining, but couldn’t gain distance despite outshooting the Bearcats from the floor and winning the rebounding battle.

Cincinnati (15-3, 4-1 in AAC) pulled out its sixth win in the past seven games by shooting 90.6 percent from the free throw line, including a 20-for-22 performance in the second half.

Laquincy Rideau poured in a team-high 26 points with four assists and a pair of steals.

Alexis Yetna posted 12 points and made all six of his free throws to help the Bulls finish 22-for-26 at the line. Freshman Michael Durr matched his career high with 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds while David Collins added 10 points and four assists.

After taking Temple to overtime last Saturday, USF jumped out to an 8-2 lead on Cincinnati with four quick points by Rideau, who registered the Bulls’ first triple-double since 2006 against the Owls.

Cincinnati responded with a 15-3 run and scored 19 points off 15 USF turnovers on the way to a 43-31 halftime lead. Rideau beat the buzzer with a highlight-reel layup and led the Bulls with 11 points in the first 20 minutes.

Known for heating up after the break this season, USF opened the second half with a 24-12 scoring advantage to tie the game up at 11:52 remaining. Cincinnati answered with an 8-0 run but the Bulls didn’t back down and evened the score again at 65-65 with 6:28 to play.

Up by two with less than four minutes left, Cincinnati scored five straight points and didn’t let its lead dip below five the rest of the way. Eight of the Bearcats’ final 10 points were produced at the free throw line.

“We didn’t get off to a good start in the first half, too many turnovers with 15 in the first half”, said Bulls Head Coach Brian Gregory. “We were just out of sorts a little bit on offense, settled down in the second half and made our free throws. We rebounded the ball well and foul trouble hurt us.”

USF returns to the Yuengling Center in Tampa to host Houston on Saturday at 8 p.m. (TV: ESPNU).





USF Bulls Drop 82-80 Decision to Temple in OT Saturday in Philadelphia

(Information provided by USF Athletics)

(Philadelphia, PA) Laquincy Rideau had 18 points, 10 assists and 10 steals and became only the sixth college basketball player in the last 20 years to have a points-assists-steals triple-double, but Temple held off a furious rally to defeat USF 82-80 in overtime on Saturday at the Liacouras Center.

It was also the first triple-double in Liacouras Center history and the first by a USF player since McHugh Mattis had 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks on Dec. 7, 2006 against Winston-Salem State.

Alexis Yetna added a career-high 24 points to go along with nine rebounds and David Collins finished with 16 points, five rebounds and three steals.

Nate Pierre-Louis led Temple with 22 points and Shizz Alton Jr. scored 20 points and had nine assists. J.P. Moorman added 12 points and five rebounds off the bench.
Temple (13-3, 3-1) used a 13-1 run midway through the first half to build a 22-9 advantage and would go on to lead by as many as 17 points. The Bulls pulled within nine points with just over a minute remaining, but Temple got a basket and a three-pointer at the buzzer from Moorman on consecutive possessions to push the lead up to 14.

USF (12-4, 2-2) opened the second half on fire and made its first 12 shots and used a 27-5 run to go ahead 50-42 on a layup by Yetna. Temple responded by scoring the next nine points to pull even at 50-50 at the 9:25 mark.

The two schools went back-and-forth for the next eight minutes with neither team leading by more than four points. Temple pushed ahead 68-65 on two free throws from Alston Jr., but Rideau answered on the ensuing possession for USF with a three-pointer that forced overtime.

Temple scored the first six points of overtime on four free throws and a jumper by Pierre-Louis. USF cut the deficit to one on two free throws from Yetna with 36 seconds left, but Temple hit four straight free throws to go back up by five. Xavier Castaneda made a three-pointer with 1.4 seconds left to pull USF within two.

“Temple has three of the most dynamic guards out there, certainly that we will face this season”, said Bulls Head Coach Brian Gregory. “You have to play with great toughness and grit against Temple, and it going to be a rock fight at times, and today was exactly that. I thought we did some good things, but not enough good on the road to beat a high-quality team. We have to do some things better in order to win some games on the road, but it was a great game with tough kids out there playing every possession.”

The Bulls continue league play Tuesday at 7 p.m. when the Bulls travel to Cincinnati for a matchup on ESPNEWS.





Former Gators QB Kerwin Bell Named Bulls Offensive Coordinator & Quarterbacks Coach

(Information provided by the USF Athletic Department)

(Tampa, FL) Fresh from leading Valdosta State to the 2018 NCAA Division II championship with the nation’s No. 1 ranked scoring offense in the division (52.0 ppg), Florida native Kerwin Bell has been named the Bulls’ offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, USF Head Coach Charlie Strong announced Thursday.

Bell, a former standout quarterback and SEC Player of the Year at the University of Florida (1984-87), comes to USF after 12 seasons as a successful head coach leading programs at Valdosta State (2016-18) and Jacksonville University (2007-15) and a 14-year playing career in professional football, which included stops with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1989) and Miami Dolphins (1988).

“I have known Kerwin for more than 30 years and have a great deal of respect for what he has done in his career both as a player and coach and the success of the football programs he has led,” Strong said. “He has directed some very explosive, high-scoring offenses and consistently puts his players in position to reach their highest potential. We are very excited to have Kerwin joining our staff.”

Strong and Bell were first part of the same program during the 1983-84 seasons at Florida, where Strong was serving in his first coaching position as a graduate assistant and Bell was a walk-on quarterback. Bell, a native of Mayo, Fla., earned the Gators’ starting quarterback job as a redshirt freshman in 1984 and went on to earn SEC Player of the Year honors after leading the Gators to a 9-1-1 record, SEC championship and top five national ranking.

Bell most recently served three seasons as the head coach at Valdosta State (2016-18) where he guided the offense and led the Blazers to a 27-7 record, a school-record 15 straight victories, two Division II playoff appearances and conference and national championships in 2018. He was named the 2018 Gulf South Conference Co-Coach of the Year after leading VSU to a 14-0 record (the first unbeaten season in program history) and a 49-47 victory over Ferris State in the Division II National Championship game, the program’s first title since 2012.

Bell’s 2018 offense led the nation in scoring (52.0 ppg), ranked second in first downs (341) and was fourth in total offense (523.9 ypg), red-zone offense (.901) and pass efficiency (167.37).
Bell led VSU to runner-up conference finishes in his first two years guiding the program and went 8-3 with a playoff appearance in his first season at the helm in 2016 as the Blazers led the nation with 27 interceptions.

Prior to VSU, Bell led Jacksonville University for nine seasons, guiding the Football Championship Series program to a 66-35 record and three Pioneer Football League championships. Also serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Bell was named the 2008 PFL Coach of the Year and an Eddie Robinson Award finalist after leading the Dolphins to a 9-4 record and conference title.

Prior to taking over the Jacksonville program, Bell led Trinity Catholic High School in Ocala, Fla, for six seasons (2001-06), earning a Florida 2B state title in 2005 and runner-up finish in 2006.

Bell was selected in the seventh round of the 1988 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins, beginning a 14-year professional career that saw stops with the NFL teams in Miami, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Indianapolis as well as stops in the Canadian Football League (where he passed for 19,538 yards and 101 touchdowns in nine seasons) and the World League of American Football.

Bell earned a degree in psychology from the University of Florida in 1987. After beginning his career at UF as a walk-on, he was inducted into the University of Florida Athletics Hall of Fame in 1997 following a four-year career (1984-87) that saw him pass for 7,585 yards and 56 touchdowns. He was ranked the No. 26 greatest Gator of all-time from the first 100 years of UF football in 2006 by The Gainesville Sun.