AAC Semi-Finals: USF Falls in Heartbreaker Against UAB as their NCAA hopes fade. But they are a lock to host a game in the NIT at the Y Center.

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South Florida Bulls during a men's basketball game against the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricanes on March 9, 2024. (Stephen Galvin/South Florida Basketball)

FORT WORTH, Texas (March 16, 2024) – The University of South Florida men’s basketball team fell in a heartbreaker in the American Athletic Conference semifinals against UAB on Saturday. Selton Miguel recorded a team-high 19 points, but the Bulls fell to the Blazers 93-83.

With the loss, USF fell to 24-7 on the year, while UAB improved to 22-11 on the year.

The Blazers came out of the gate strong and scored the game’s first eight points. The Bulls were unfazed and rattled off five unanswered to make the score 8-5 at the first media timeout. South Florida scored the next eight points and gave USF a 13-8 lead. Chris Youngblood knocked down his third 3-pointer of the game and put South Florida on top 16-10 with 11:45 left in the first half.

UAB outscored USF 11-9 over the next 3:45, but the Bulls still held a 25-21 with 8:00 left until the break. The Blazers utilized a 9-3 run and took a 30-28 lead with just under four minutes left in the half. UAB closed out the half on an 8-2 run and took a 38-30 lead into the break.

The second half started fast as both sides knocked down two 3-pointers each. The Blazers extended their lead to 49-38 with just under 17 minutes left in the second half. The Bulls outscored the Blazers 13-10 over the next seven minutes and cut the deficit to 59-51 with 11:35 left on the clock.

The Bulls went on an 8-3 run that was highlighted by a Youngblood slam dunk. South Florida cut the deficit to three, 62-59, with just over eight minutes left in regulation.

The next six minutes were a battle back-and-forth. UAB outscored USF 18-15 and took an 81-74 2:44 left in regulation. The Blazers ended the game outscoring the Bulls 11-9 and claimed a 93-83 victory.

Miguel led the Bulls with a 19-point performance, his 27th game in double figures. He added one assist. Kasean Pryor produced his 11th double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds. He added a game-high five assists with two steals and a block. Youngblood finished with 13 points, his 26th game in double digits. He had two rebounds, one block, and one steal. Kobe Knox rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points, his 12th double-figure game of the year. He dished out four assists and had two steals. Brandon Stroud and Jayden Reid each finished with eight points.

Efrem Johnson led UAB with a game-high 21 points to go along with two rebounds and two assists. Eric Gaines added a 20-point effort with five assists, four rebounds, and two steals. Yaxel Lendeborg produced a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Christian Coleman added 15 points, five rebounds and one steal.

Notables

· Selton Miguel led the Bulls with a 19-point performance, his 27th game in double figures. He added one assist.

· Kasean Pryor produced his 11th double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds. He added a game-high five assists with two steals and a block.

· Chris Youngblood finished with 13 points, his 26th game in double digits. He had two rebounds, one block, and one steal.

· Kobe Knox rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points, his 12th double-figure game of the year. He dished out four assists and had two steals.

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Next Up

South Florida will now have to wait on its fate. The Bulls will find out if they are in the NCAA Tournament or in the NIT. The selection show is Sunday, March 17, at 6 p.m.

To stay up-to-date on the latest USF men’s basketball news, follow the Bulls on social media (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram).

About USF Men’s Basketball

The South Florida men’s basketball team is led by Amir Abdur-Rahim, who was named the 11th head coach in program history on March 29, 2023. Abdur-Rahim was named the 2023 Mid-Major Coach of the Year (Hugh Durham Award) after leading Kennesaw State to its first-ever Division I NCAA Tournament berth in 2022-23. Abdur-Rahim’s Kennesaw State team set an NCAA record as the fastest team to ever reach the NCAA Tournament after a one-win campaign, accomplishing the feat in a span of just three seasons. He was also named the 2022-23 NABC District 3 and ASUN Coach of the Year after leading Kennesaw State to both the regular season and tournament titles, and a school-record 26 wins.
 
USF has retired three numbers in its history: Chucky Atkins (12), Charlie Bradley (30), and Radenko Dobras (31). The Bulls have earned three NCAA tournament bids, appeared in the NIT eight times, and won the 2019 College Basketball Invitational.
 
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