PROVIDENCE, R.I. — USF has become proficient this season in two negative areas.
After losing to Providence 68-63 Wednesday, the Bulls (8-15, 2-8 Big East) have lost seven games by seven points or fewer and are 0-10 on the road.
"I believe at the end of games we give it away," said Jawanza Poland, who scored a season-high 20 but had a big miss on a late 3-pointer. "We turn the ball over too much, which leads to points for the other team and which prevents us from finishing.
"We have to finish well and we have to take care of the ball better."
Providence (14-9, 3-7) scored 20 off 16 USF turnovers and committed only 10 turnovers.
During one stretch midway through the second half, USF had four consecutive turnovers, fueling a 14-2 run that enabled the Friars to build their largest lead at 56-47.
"The turnover margin was way too much," USF coach Stan Heath said. "Whenever we don't do a good job in that area, we seem to struggle.
"It's frustrating. I know the kids are giving a good effort out there. I give my kids a lot of credit because a lot of teams that have been in those situations, at some point in time they crack. All of a sudden you get beat by 30. That hasn't happened to us, so I think there's some good character with our guys."
Toarlyn Fitzpatrick had 13 points and Augustus Gilchrist 10 for USF. Big East scoring leader Marshon Brooks led the Friars with 24 points.
Brooks scored eight during a 14-2 run in the first half that produced a 20-15 lead.
In the 14-2 second-half run, he had six points.
"Marshon was Marshon," Heath said. "When they needed some big plays he stepped up. During one stretch, he made a 3 and got fouled.
"He did what a great player does. I thought he was the guy who tilted the game in their favor."
A Brooks free throw gave Providence a 64-61 lead, and on USF's next possession, Poland had a wide-open 3-point attempt and clanged it with 20 seconds left, missing a chance to possibly send the game into overtime.
"As soon as the game was over I thought about that shot," Poland said. "I could have tied it up. It's going to be in my head for a while, probably just for tonight. But we've got to move on to the next game."