(Miami, FL) Laquincy Rideau scored 28 points and USF held FIU to 23 points under its season average en route to an 82-73 victory Tuesday evening at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center.
FIU (8-3) entered play ranked second in the NCAA in scoring with an average of 96.6 points per game and had scored at least 80 points in all but one of its 10 games this season. Panther senior guard Brian Beard began the night averaging a team-high 22.6 points per game, but USF limited him to four points on 0-for-8 shooting from the field.
Rideau hit a career-high four three-pointers and added seven rebounds, nine assists and five steals to help USF secure its fourth straight win, marking the first time since the 2013-14 season the Bulls have won four consecutive games.
David Collins added 16 points and Alexis Yetna finished one point shy of a double-double with 13 rebounds and nine points. Sophomore Justin Brown chipped in with 13 points and made three 3-pointers after making his first start of the season. USF connected for a season-high 10 triples and finished 71.4 percent (10-for-14) from beyond the arc to record the second-highest single game three-point percentage in school history.
USF (8-2) raced to an 11-point lead midway through the first half before FIU used an 8-0 run to pull within three points. Rideau scored seven of the next nine point for USF to push the lead up to eight. Three-pointers from Rideau and Brown over the final two minutes gave USF a 14-point lead at halftime.
Brown gave USF its largest lead of the game with a three-pointer in the corner to up the advantage to 23 points six minutes into the second half. FIU answered with a 22-6 run to crawl within seven points with just under nine minutes remaining.
The Bulls would use free throws over the final eight minutes to hold off FIU on their way to opening the season with eight wins over the first 10 games for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
USF returns to action Friday at 7 p.m. when the Bulls host Alcorn State on ESPN3 from the Yuengling Center.
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