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Xavier Castaneda’s career night leads USF men past Furman

The sophomore point guard hits four 3-pointers in the Bulls’ 65-55 triumph
USF sophomore Xavier Castaneda (1), driving to the basket last season against East Carolina, scored a career-high 18 points in Monday's 65-55 triumph against Furman at the Yuengling Center. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
USF sophomore Xavier Castaneda (1), driving to the basket last season against East Carolina, scored a career-high 18 points in Monday's 65-55 triumph against Furman at the Yuengling Center. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times] [ JONES | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Dec. 3, 2019
Updated Dec. 3, 2019

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.