SOUTH PADRE, TEXAS - The University of South Florida men's basketball team took No. 23 Brigham Young to double overtime, but came up one bucket short to drop their first game in South Padre, Texas, 77-75.
USF was led offensively by Augustus Gilchrist with 14 points, closely followed by 12 from Jawanza Poland.
Sophomore Toarlyn Fitzpatrick came off the bench to record his second-career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. His first double-double was his first career BIG EAST game, against Louisville, on Dec. 30, 2009.
Defensively, guards Mike Burwell and Hugh Robertson frustrated the Cougar guards, holding BYU All-American Jimmer Fredette to a 10-of-25 night from the field and three-point specialist Jackson Emery 5-of-13 from long range.
The Bulls battled the nationally ranked Cougars for 50 minutes, but the last 22 seconds would decide the game as Fredette drove the lane, saw the triple-team from the Bulls, and dished to Noah Hartsock for the 17-foot baseline game-winner with no time left on the clock.
With 46 seconds left in regulation, Poland knocked down his first trey of the game to give USF the 61-58 lead, but Charles Abouo answered with a long ball of his own with 33 seconds left to tie the game. The Bulls had one final possession, but turned over the ball to end the stanza.
In the first overtime, the Bulls took a four-point lead with jumpers by Gilchrist and Jarrid Famous, but the Cougars tied the game with 1:53 remaining with consecutive buckets of their own.
After a missed three from Gilchrist, Fredette hit one from downtown, but Poland answered with a shot from downtown, tying the game at 69 with 30 seconds to play.
Despite more tight defense from the Bulls, Fredette attempted a game-winning jumper, but Gilchrist came down with the rebound to send the game into a second overtime.
Burwell swapped baskets with the Cougars, scoring four points in the first two minutes of the second overtime while BYU scored four points of its own. After getting his first shot blocked by Fitzpatrick, Fredette answered by knocking down a three, and USF countered with a layup by Gilchrist and a free throw from Fitzpatrick to tie the game at 75 with 22 seconds remaining.
With scrappy pressure from the Bulls' guards, Fredette couldn't attempt a shot, so he drove the left side of the lane where he got triple-teamed by the USF big men. The Cougar then dished to Hartsock for a 15-foot jumper from the right baseline to seal the win, 77-75, at the buzzer.
In a physical game that could have used helmets and shoulder pads, Anderson Jr. controlled the boards, grabbing six in the first 10 minutes of the game and ending the half with eight in just 12 minutes of play. He finished the game with 13 rebounds, for his second-straight game with double-digit rebounds.
USF started the scoring with Hugh Robertson's jumper, but fell behind 13-9 before tying the game at 13 apiece with free throws from Fitzpatrick and a jumper from Anderson Jr. After trading BYU missed shots for USF turnovers in numerous possessions, Fitzpatrick hit his fourth trey in the past three games, leading the Bulls to a 15-6 run to go into the locker room for the half, up 28-23.
After the break, USF's aggressive defense turned into fouls as the Bulls were called for seven fouls in the first seven minutes of the second half, compared to just two fouls by the Cougars.
With 7:30 left in regulation, Fredette knocked down a three to give BYU its first lead, 43-42, since the three-minute mark of the first half.
Gilichrist connected on his first three of the season with 5:30 left in the second half, but BYU answered with a three to keep the game tied, 49-49.
On the next possession, Poland hit a pair of free throws, then took a steal to the other end for a dunk to quiet the BYU-heavy crowd and give USF the 53-49 lead.
A pair of threes by BYU's Jackson Emery over the last three minutes gave the Cougars the momentum to keep focused and send the game into overtime.
USF (3-3) will wrap up the South Padre Invitational on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. when the Bulls face the Texas Tech Red Raiders at the SPI Convention Center in Texas.
- USF is now 2-1 in the South Padre Invitational with wins over Georgia Southern and Liberty and the double-overtime loss to No. 23 BYU.
- USF held BYU, who came into the game averaging 89 points per game, to just 61 points in regulation. The Bulls played stingy defense, holding the Cougars to just 23 points in the first half. BYU's Jimmer Fredette, who averages 23 points per game, scored seven of his team's first 13 points but ended the first half with only 11 points on a 4-of-9 shooting effort. He was 10-of-25 overall for the entire game.
- USF is now 1-6 in double-overtime games, with the last 2OT win over Tulane, 81-76, on Feb. 27, 1999.
- USF drops to 11-84 against ranked teams, with three of those victories coming in Coach Stan Heath's last two seasons. Last year USF defeated No. 17 Pittsburgh and No. 7 Georgetown amidst a string of four-straight BIG EAST wins.
- Despite USF big men being double-teamed in the post, USF outrebounded BYU 50-40, with Anderson Jr. leading the charge for the Bulls with 13 boards. Fitzpatrick added 11 rebounds.
- USF continued to spread the wealth as five players scored the Bulls' first 10 points, including Anderson Jr, Augustus Gilchrist, Hugh Robertson, Jarrid Famous and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick.
- Nine of the 10 Bulls who played in the game scored for USF, with six scoring at least eight points.
- At the end of regulation, no Bulls had scored in double-digits. Gilchrist, Poland and Fitzpatrick each had nine points after two halves.
- USF led the nationally-ranked Cougars 28-23 at the half.
- The Bulls hit 20-of-26 free throws (76.9%) while BYU only connected on 17-of-34 (50%).
- USF has hit at least seven threes in a trio of games this season.
- The Bulls held BYU to 32.1 percent (25-78) from the field. The Cougars were averaging 43.3 percent coming into the game. USF also held Jimmer Fredette to 1-of-7 shooting to start the game.
- Hugh Robertson and sophomore Mike Burwell, in his second career start, set the tone defensively for the Bulls.
- Sophomore Toarlyn Fitzpatrick came off the bench to record his second-career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. His first double-double was his first career BIG EAST game, against Louisville, on Dec. 30, 2009.
- Fitzpatrick has connected on a long ball in his last three games and is 4-of-7 overall this season from downtown.
- Junior Ron Anderson Jr. grabbed 13 rebounds, eight in the first half, for his second-straight night with double-digit rebounds. He didn't even play the last nine and a half minutes of the game after fouling out with 4:14 left in the first overtime.
- Junior guard Anthony Crater sat out his second-straight game with a sprained left ankle. Mike Burwell started in his place both games.