USF presented third-year coach Brian Gregory with a sparkling 53rd birthday gift ― embedded with milestones ― Sunday afternoon.
Junior David Collins (game-high 23 points) reached the school’s 1,000-point club and classmate Justin Brown (16 points, eight rebounds) became one of the program’s top 10 3-point scorers in an 81-61 triumph against Drexel before an announce Yuengling Center audience of 4,480.
The victory capped the season’s third doubleheader sweep for the Bulls teams. In Sunday’s opener, the USF women (7-4) rallied from a 10-point first-half deficit for a 67-64 triumph against Idaho (4-4).
Down by two with 9:50 to play, USF’s men (6-4) closed their game with a 29-7 run, forcing seven turnovers during that decisive stretch. The Bulls’ eight turnovers were a season-low.
“You come off of finals sometimes, that first game in a bit of time and you might be a little sluggish,” said Gregory, whose team hadn’t played since a Dec. 6 home win against Dartmouth. “I thought our guys came out and played with great energy and gave great effort today in a really quality win.”
Brown’s trio of 3-pointers give him 119 for his career, surpassing Victor Rudd (117) for 10th place on the school’s career list. Senior point guard Laquincy Rideau had 19 points and six assists.
The Bulls women got three 3-pointers from freshman Maria Alvarez (team-high 14 points) in the last four minutes to slip past the Vandals. Low-post veterans Shae Leverett and Tamara Henshaw teamed for 19 points and 21 rebounds as the Bulls finished with a 51-30 advantage on the glass. Freshman Kristyna Brabencova added 11 boards.