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USF gets help from 3-ball to rally past Hampton

Javon Greene and Jake Boggs lead the comeback from long range as the Bulls improve to 3-2.
USF coach Brian Gregory calls a play during the first half against Auburn on Nov. 19.
USF coach Brian Gregory calls a play during the first half against Auburn on Nov. 19. [ CHRIS O'MEARA | AP ]
Published Nov. 25
Updated Nov. 25

TAMPA — Javon Greene and Jake Boggs each hit clutch 3-pointers late to help USF rally for a 58-52 victory over Hampton on Wednesday night.

Greene had 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and a career-high six steals while Boggs finished with six points and a game-high eight rebounds.

Boggs’ first 3-pointer in the second half helped erase a 24-21 halftime deficit and gave the Bulls (3-2) a 26-24 lead. Boggs made another at the 4:58 mark to give USF a 50-48 advantage in a game that saw 11 lead changes.

Two minutes later, the Pirates retook the lead with a 3 of their own before Greene answered with the go-ahead shot from beyond the arc at the 2:15 mark. Greene got his sixth steal on the ensuing Hampton possession, and the Bulls never relinquished the lead. USF did not allow a field goal by the Pirates (2-4) over the final 2:38.

“Credit Hampton for doing a good job controlling the tempo in the first half,” Bulls coach Brian Gregory said. “We were able to dictate the tempo more in the second half. We disturbed the ball a lot better and continued to play great defense again tonight.”

The Bulls finished with 19 fastbreak points compared to none for Hampton. USF also won the rebounding battle 37-34, including 11 offensive rebounds, eight of which came in the second half.

“We have to keep defending and keep rebounding until the offense breaks through,” Gregory said. “We’re ahead of the curve defensively on where we thought we’d be, and I’m pleased with that. Now the offense has to come along.

“We’re still working to get comfortable out there with one another, but we moved the ball much better in the second half, and that’s what we have to do. The shots are going to fall.”

Caleb Murphy chipped in with 12 points for the Bulls.

Najee Garvin had 14 points for the Pirates, who have lost four in a row.

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