USF Topples ECU 77-57
Alexis Yetna scored 20 of his 28 points in the second half to go along with 10 points from Justin Brown and 14 from Laquinch Rideau to lead USF to a surprisingly easy 77-57 win over ECU on Saturday in Minges Coliseum.
But it didn’t start that way. Two early baskets from Spasojevic, three Gardner buckets and a Seth LeDay follow of a Gardner missed free throw gave ECU an 13-4 lead five minutes into the contest.
Then Isaac Fleming, Seth LeDay and Ty Foster scored for ECU who opened up as much a 19-6 lead in the first eight minutes before a Mayan Kiir basket finally broke the run for USF. Then dunks from Alexis Yetna and Michael Durr helped the Bulls close right back to within two at 19-17 midway into the half.
Two Shawn Williams treys and a Jayden Gardner fast break drive helped ECU to reopen a ten-point 27-17 lead at the 7:20 mark of the half before a 11-0 USF run helped USF retake the lead at 28-27 before a Justin Brown three-pointer gave the Bulls a 36-34 halftime lead.
USF’s 10-2 run then had the Bulls up by eight points just seven minutes into the second half on five Alexis Yetna baskets. Four USF layups played a big part as their lead then grew to sixteen with four minutes to play and the Pirates were never able to recover.
"The thing that perplexes us most is you get off to a great start and you’re moving the ball and you almost flip the script on yourself and do the exact opposite of what you’ve been doing,” said ECU head coach Joe Dooley, “The first half with the exception of turning it over in transition, I thought we did a nice job of guarding the half court. In the second half we go in and take bad shots.”
“After a good start, I thought at the start of the second half, USF dominated every aspect of the game. I’m very disappointed in the way we competed at the end which for the most part I think we have this year. That was a major step back,” said ECU head coach Joe Dooley, “My big thing is don’t talk tough, play tough and we didn’t play tough today at all.”
With the loss, ECU falls to 8-11 overall and 1-6 in league play while USF improved to 14-6 and evened their league record at 4-4.