The University of South Florida Bulls lost in overtime to the Wichita State University Shockers on Tuesday, 87-77. The Bulls had command for most of the game, but needed last minute heroics by David Collins to force overtime.
USF jumped out to an early lead in the first half, but the teams tied at 4 points apiece just a few minutes into the period. With just under 16 minutes on the clock, the Bulls took the lead with a three-pointer by Justin Brown, 7-3. From that point forward, they never trailed in the half, leading by as much as 13 points on multiple occasions. USF took a 29-22 lead into halftime.
The second half played similarly to the first, with the Bulls maintaining a comfortable lead for the first eight minutes in the period. At the 12 minute mark, Clarence Jackson hit a layup on a fast break that got the Shockers within two, 44-42. However, it wasn’t until less than eight minutes remained in regulation that Wichita State took their first lead of the game off a jump shot by Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler, giving the Shockers a 49-48 lead.
The lead change was the turning point of the game, with the Shockers keeping the Bulls at arms-length for the remainder of regulation. Trailing by five opints, 69-64 with just four seconds on the clock, Collins made a three pointer while being fouled to get his team within two, 69-67. Collins would make his second free throw to narrow the Wichita State lead to one, 69-68.
Once the ball was brought into play by Wichita State, Trey Wade was fouled to stop the clock. He made a free throw to put the Shockers up, 70-68. USF would get the ball with four seconds on the clock. Collins attempted a three pointer as time expired, but was fouled in the attempt, sending him to the line. He made the first shot, only to have Wichita State call timeout in between his subsequent shots, both of which came after he was in possession of the basketball. Collins missed the second, but made the third shot, tying the game at 70. The fraction of the second on the clock wasn’t enough time for Wichita State to make anything happen, sending the game into overtime.
While it seemed like the Bulls had the momentum going into overtime, it was short lived. Just over a minute into the period, Craig Porter Jr. made a layup on a fast break that broke the tie, 72-70, in favor of the Shockers, who would go on to lead the entire extra period before securing the win, 82-77.
Collins, who had just five points in the first half, finished strong with 17 points and five assists. Caleb Murphy also had a strong performance, finishing with 14 points and six assists. Justin Brown and Alexis Yetna also finished in double-digits, with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Yetna joined Michael Durr in pulling down 14 rebounds apiece.
For the Shockers, it was the Tyson Etienne show. Etienne finished with 25 points and six rebounds. He also was 10 of 12 from the free throw line. Only two other Wichita State players joined him in double-digit scoring. Alterique Gilbert and Jackson finished with 10 points apiece.
Wichita State was dominant in the paint, outscoring the Bulls 34-22, but the Bulls had a significant advantage on the boards, outrebounding the Shockers 54-39. But, the Bulls also turned the ball over more (18-11) and the Shockers made those turnovers more productive, outscoring USF, 19-9 on turnovers. The Shockers also scored on twice as many fast breaks (24-12) as the Bulls.
After the game, USF head coach, Brian Gregory, spoke with the media. He mentioned the turnover scoring advantage when explaining how the game got away from the Bulls.
“Our turnovers in the second half created some easy baskets for them,” said Gregory, “which obviously is going to automatically raise their shooting percentage. And I thought it was critical in the, in the second part of the first half when we were up 10 1112, we were able to extend the lead they were able to cut into it.”
Gregory also addressed the controversial decisions to allow timeouts after the ball was in Collins’ hands at the end of the game.
“They said they called it before he had the ball so I’m gonna have to watch it on film Russ, you know to be, to be honest with you,” said Gregory.
Wichita State improves to 4-2 with the win. They will host ECU in their next game on December 30th. Tipoff for that game is set for 6 PM and television broadcast will be available on ESPN+.
The Bulls drop to 5-3 with the disappointing loss. They will visit Memphis in their next game on December 29th. That game is set for a 9 PM tip and it will be broadcast on ESPN2 and or ESPNU.
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