With its offensive options mostly limited outside of veterans David Collins and Laquincy Rideau, USF (4-4) enters each game these days seeking an offensive X-factor.
Monday night against Furman, they found one in the guy literally known around the program as “X.”
Sophomore point guard Xavier Castaneda scored a career-high 18 points to lead the Bulls to a 65-55 victory against the Paladins (7-1) before an announced Yuengling Center crowd of 2,444.
Castaneda hit four of his five 3-pointers, including three in a row during a 23-11 Bulls surge to end the first half. Defensively, USF out-rebounded Furman 46-31 and held Paladins scoring leader Jordan Lyons (16.1 ppg entering Monday) to a season-low four points.
Rideau, who helped neutralize Lyons most of the night, finished with 11 points, six rebounds and six assists. Junior Justin Brown, also steadily emerging as a viable offensive option for the Bulls, finished with a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds).
USF returns to the Yuengling Center on Friday when it hosts Dartmouth at 8 p.m. in the nightcap of a Bulls men’s/women’s doubleheader.