NEW YORK - A trip to the second round of the Big East
Championship slipped through USF's fingers late Tuesday night.
The Bulls had an eight-point lead with less than three
minutes left in regulation before Seton Hall pulled out a 46-42 overtime win at
Madison Square Garden. The loss spoiled a stellar defensive effort by the Bulls
as the Pirates' total matched the fewest points by a winning team in Big East
"It's a tough way
to finish our season. We gave the game away," USF head coach Stan Heath said. "We
certainly had an opportunity to close it out in regulation."
Freshman forward Zach LeDay scored a team-high 13 points and
grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds to help USF finish with a 47-33 edge on the
"I played in a lot
of different environments this year. I had a good freshman year," said LeDay,
who got the start. "I got to play a whole bunch of minutes and gain a whole
bunch of experience."
Team scoring leader Victor Rudd added 11 points and Anthony
Collins finished with a game-high nine assists.
No. 12 seed Seton Hall (15-17) finished regulation on an 8-0
run and Fuquan Edwin heated up late to post a game-high 17 points. No. 13 seed USF
(12-19) shot 24 percent from the field while the Pirates advanced to Wednesday's
2 p.m. game against fifth-seeded Syracuse.
LeDay was well on his way to his first double-double as a
Bull by posting eight rebounds and six points to help USF head into halftime
with a 20-17 lead. USF grabbed a 19-11 edge on the glass in the opening period
and posted 12 on the offensive end.
Seton Hall turned the ball over on its first three
possessions while a Rudd 3-pointer gave the Bulls a 5-0 lead to open the game.
Gene Teague gave the Pirates their first lead more than midway through the half
and USF responded with a Toarlyn Fitzpatrick dunk with 5:36 remaining.
Fitzpatrick started 3-for-4 from the field and his buzzer-beating putback got
him up to seven points by halftime.
A Collins jumper and a Martino Brock 3-pointer gave USF a
25-19 advantage four minutes into the second half. A pair of free throws by
Rudd and an alley-oop dunk by LeDay put the Bulls ahead, 29-21, before USF's
offense took a while to heat back up.
Rudd's 3-pointer ended nearly a 10-minute USF field goal drought
and a LeDay jumper gave the Bulls a 37-29 lead with 3:16 remaining.
Seton Hall forced overtime by finishing on an 8-0 run and
tied things up with 18.8 seconds remaining on an Edwin layup. A Collins layup
try and two USF tip-in chances missed in the final seconds of regulation.
An acrobatic tip-in by USF's Jawanza Poland tied the game at
42 in overtime before Seton Hall went back ahead on an Edwin layup with 55
USF missed on two chances before Edwin sealed the game with
a pair of free throws. Collins' layup try missed with 25 seconds left and Rudd's
3-point try with four seconds on the clock was off target.
"We certainly wanted
to go out and make noise and have success. So not having that is disappointing,"
Heath said. "We certainly want to continue to play. I saw that in our guys who
want to continue to play but just didn't get the job done."