Thursday, September 20, 2018
Colleges

USF men, women open with basketball wins

TAMPA —A couple of hours after dawn broke on the Brian Gregory era, mild bedlam broke out.

Graduate transfer Stephan Jiggetts’ jump shot just inside the free-throw line with 12 seconds to play lifted USF to a 60-59 victory Friday against Florida Atlantic, bringing a moment of delirium to a program previously in dysfunction.

The victory, before an announced Sun Dome crowd of 4,192, capped a USF doubleheader sweep. The No. 23 Bulls women topped LSU 61-55.

"We’ve got a long way to go, there’s no doubt about that," Gregory said. "But hopefully you saw a little bit of the grit that our guys try to play with, especially on the defensive end."

A deflection by Bulls sophomore Tulio Da Silva with 27 seconds to play went out of bounds off an FAU player, leading to Jiggetts’ game-winner.

Da Silva had 20 points and eight rebounds. The Bulls were hurt badly on the offensive glass (15-5) and had one second-chance point to the Owls’ 17, but they held FAU to 35.6 percent (21-of-59) from the floor.

The women’s victory was far more priceless than proficient; not terribly pleasing to the eye, but sparkling for the RPI.

They sometimes struggled to buy a basket, but the Bulls women atoned with defense, rebounding and free throws.

"I didn’t think we could shoot that poorly," said coach Jose Fernandez, whose team finished 19-of-63 (30.2 percent) from the floor. "To shoot 30 percent from the floor and win means we did a pretty good job defensively."

The Bulls held LSU without a field goal the last 2:54 but led by only 58-55 before senior forward Maria Jespersen drove the lane for a layup with 33 seconds to go.

LSU took three shots in the last 2:54.

Jespersen (20 points) and junior Kitija Laksa (16) each finished one rebound shy of a double double. USF finished 17-of-22 from the free-throw line,.

MEN’s GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Guard Hamidou Diallo led an 18-0 run and scored 18 as No. 5 Kentucky rallied past visiting Utah Valley 73-63. Freshman Kevin Knox, a former Tampa Catholic standout, scored 12, his 3-pointer early in the second half starting a comeback from a 37-25 deficit. … Marvin Bagley had 25 points and 10 rebounds in his college debut, and No. 1 Duke routed visiting Elon 97-68.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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