UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Given the problems USF encountered in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament, the last thing the Bulls needed was an injury to a key player.
That's exactly what happened Sunday as Penn State prevailed 53-49 in the Naismith Bracket third-place game.
Augustus Gilchrist re-injured a shoulder after playing only 13 minutes and was sidelined for the duration.
"He's our primary go-to guy on the inside," coach Stan Heath said. "Not having him really hurt us in rebounding and on the offensive end in terms of having somebody inside that can make some things happen.
"It was a big loss for us, not having him for a portion of that first half and none of the second half."
Toarlyn Fitzpatrick almost picked up the slack created by Gilchrist's absence by posting a double double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
"I thought he really got some things going for us," Heath said. "Then he got into foul trouble. Foul trouble really hurt us. We played most of the last few minutes with four guys in foul trouble.
"We were playing cautiously. Because of that, I thought we gave up some baskets that we could have guarded a lot better."
USF (3-2) led 43-38 with 5:08 left when Tim Frazier, who had a career-high 27 points, ignited a 12-1 run that gave the Nittany Lions (4-1) a 50-44 lead that the Bulls were unable to overcome.
"We had some careless turnovers against their three-quarter-court pressure and that led to some baskets they got," Heath said, noting Penn State scored 22 off 19 USF miscues. "Frazier's an awfully good player. He's hard to keep out of the lane, he knows how to get fouled and he knows how to score."
Blake Nash was the only other Bull to hit double figures (14) as USF shot a mere 37.8 percent.