(Houston, TX) David Collins was the lone Bull in double figures as USF’s offense couldn’t heat up against one of the nation’s toughest defenses in a 71-59 setback at No. 9/8 Houston on Saturday.
Collins finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists while USF (18-9, 7-7 in AAC) shot 31 percent from the field against the fifth-best scoring defense in the country (60.3 ppg). Houston (26-1, 13-1 in AAC) extended its nation-leading home winning streak to 33 games and won its 11th straight outing overall.
Freshman forward Michael Durr posted seven points and a game-high nine rebounds to help the Bulls finish with a 37-34 edge on the boards. Alexis Yetna added nine points and six rebounds in USF’s return to conference play after a 95-54 win over Florida College on Tuesday.
T.J. Lang made two of USF’s eight threes and finished with eight points. Justin Brown and Xavier Castaneda scored seven points apiece.
Collins led all scorers with eight points at the half while the Cougars took a 34-26 lead into the break after shooting 50 percent from the field.
Houston made its first four shots, including three from long range, to open the game with an 11-0 advantage. USF worked a double-digit deficit all the way down to one with 5:16 remaining in the period thanks to an 8-0 run that was sparked by threes by Castaneda and Brown.
Brown’s jumper with 4:04 left got the Bulls back within one before Houston closed the half on an 8-1 run. Brown made three of his first five shots and accounted for nearly half of the Bulls’ field goals in the first 20 minutes.
Just like the first half, Houston started off the second off fast with a 7-0 run that was stopped by Yetna’s three with 16:34 to play. Another three by Lang got the Bulls back within 12, but that’s as close as they would get the rest of the way against The American’s top defense.
USF returns to the Yuengling Center to host rival UCF on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.
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