Bulls fans enjoying the Gasparilla revelry had another reason to raise a red Solo cup Saturday.
Their men’s basketball team came another convincing step closer to securing a winning season.
Down by 13 early in the first half, the Bulls (14-6, 4-4) rallied behind redshirt freshman Alexis Yetna (28 points, 13 rebounds) for a 77-57 road triumph against East Carolina. The Bulls' four American Athletic Conference victories equal their total of the past two seasons combined.
With two more wins, they assure themselves of the program’s first winning regular season since 2012.
“I thought we probably won the game the last six minutes of the first half to be honest with you,” said Bulls second-year coach Brian Gregory, whose club staged two 11-0 runs in the first half following the early deficit. “Really good response.”
Sophomore Justin Brown (14 points) triggered the second 11-0 run with three 3-pointers in an 81-second span. USF led 36-34 at halftime, then held the Pirates to eight field goals ― and a 29.6-percent effort from the floor ― in the final 20 minutes.
Yetna’s double-double was his 10th of the season. PG Laquincy Rideau added 10 points, 10 assists and four steals. Seven-foot freshman Michael Durr had nine points and 10 boards.
“It was probably the best offensive movement that we’ve had in a while,” Gregory said on USF’s radio broadcast. “I thought Alexis and Mike were really, really good in the second half for us.”