South Florida Wins Comeback Thriller Against Charlotte 72-69. The Bulls are now alone in first place in the AAC.

0
192

TAMPA, Fla. (February 7, 2024) – The University of South Florida men’s basketball team returned to the friendly confines of the Yuengling Center for an American Athletic Conference showdown with Charlotte on Tuesday. Selton Miguel led the Bulls with a game-high 22 as USF rallied from down 17 for a 72-69 victory.

With the victory, South Florida improved to 16-5 overall and 9-1 in AAC play, while Charlotte fell to 14-8 overall and 8-2 in conference action. The Bulls played in front of the largest crowd this season in the Yuengling Center with an attendance of 6,156. USF moved into sole possession of first place in the AAC standings (Florida Atlantic does not play until Thursday).

The Bulls extended their winning streak to eight conference games, which is the longest in program history. South Florida started the season 16-5 for just the second time in program history. The only other time was during the 1975-76 campaign. The eight-game winning streak is the third-longest winning streak in program history. It is the first time since the 1982-83 season when the team won nine straight.

The 49ers started the game with a 14-7 run, on 3-for-3 shooting from behind the 3-point line. Charlotte extended its lead to 22-13 with 11:32 left in the opening stanza with a slight 7-6 edge.

The Bulls mounted a little comeback with a 5-4 tilt as Selton Miguel and Chris Youngblood combined for five free throws. CLT answered with a 14-8 run and extended its lead to 40-26 with just under four minutes left in the half.

The Bulls battled and went on an 11-7 run to close out the half. USF cut the CLT lead to 47-37 at the break.

Charlotte edged South Florida 8-7 to open the second half and extended its lead to 55-44 with just over 15 minutes left in regulation. The 49ers added an 8-4 run and extended their lead to 63-48 with 11:24 left in regulation.

The Bulls were unfazed and responded with a 9-0 run and cut the deficit to 63-57 with 7:21 left in regulation. During the run, Miguel knocked down four free throws. Brandon Stroud drained a corner three, followed by a driving layup by Miguel.

South Florida continued to apply pressure and outscored Charlotte 7-5. The Bulls cut the deficit to 68-64 with just over four minutes left in regulation. USF utilized shutdown defense and held CLT to just one made free throw for the remainder of the game. Jayden Reid made the biggest play of his young career and picked the pocket of the Charlotte ball handler. He took it the distance for a layup and pulled the Bulls within one, 69-68 with just over a minute left to play.

Stroud gave USF its first lead, 70-69, with 29 seconds left on the clock. Miguel knocked down two free throws to seal it for the Bulls. The South Florida offense capitalized on that with an 8-1 run to close out the game and claim a 72-69 victory.

Miguel led all scorers with 22 points. He surpassed the 1,000 career-point mark. He tied for a game-high with five assists. He added two rebounds and one steal. Youngblood added a 13-point performance with four rebounds, two assists, and one block. Knox closed out the double-digit scorers with 13 points. He collected three rebounds, one assist, and one block. Stroud led the team in rebounding for the second-straight game with seven. He chipped in with seven points and two assists. Corey Walker Jr. came up huge on the offensive glass with a game-high four offensive rebounds. He added four clutch points on 2-of-3 shooting.

Dishon Jackson led Charlotte with 16 points. He collected seven rebounds with one assist. Igor Milicic Jr. led CLT with nine rebounds to go along with his 15 points. He tied for a game-high five assists. Nik Graves added 12 points, while Lu’cye Patterson posted 10 points.

The USF bench outscored the CLT bench 30-9. South Florida did not allow a bench point in the second half. The Bulls forced 12 turnovers and only turned the ball over five times. USF took advantage of the turnovers and turned them into 14 points. The 11 offensive rebounds by South Florida led to 18 second-chance points.

Notables

· The Bulls extended their winning streak to eight conference games, which is the longest in program history.

· South Florida started the season 16-5 for just the second time in program history. The only other time was during the 1975-76 campaign.

· The eight-game winning streak is the third-longest winning streak in program history. It is the first time since the 1982-83 season when the team won nine straight.

· Selton Miguel recorded his 1,000th point and finished with a game-high 22 points. He tied for a game-high with five assists. He added two rebounds and one steal. 

· Chris Youngblood added a 13-point performance with four rebounds, two assists, and one block.

· Kobe Knox closed out the double-digit scorers with 13 points. He collected three rebounds, one assist, and one block.

Next Up

South Florida goes back to Texas for a contest with Rice. The Bulls and Owls are scheduled for a 3 p.m. ET tip on ESPN+ on Saturday, Feb. 10, in Houston.

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.
 
For tickets, contact the USF Ticket Office at 1-800-Go-Bulls or by going online to 
USFBullsTix.com. Season tickets for the 2023-24 USF men’s basketball slate are on sale now. To purchase season tickets, click here.