USF men extend conference win streak to program-best 9 games

No deficit is too big for the Bulls, who need another rally to top Rice, which led 38-25 at the half.
Chris Youngblood records a game-high 24 points as USF defeats Rice 69-65 on Saturday.
Chris Youngblood records a game-high 24 points as USF defeats Rice 69-65 on Saturday. [ USF Athletics ]
Published Feb. 10|Updated Feb. 11

HOUSTON — The comeback kings did it again Saturday.

Chris Youngblood scored 24 points, including 19 in the second half, and USF rallied to beat Rice 69-65 Saturday, the seventh time during the Bulls’ record nine-game conference winning streak they have won after trailing at halftime.

On Thursday, USF trailed Charlotte for more than 39 minutes before pulling it out in the final minute. And that came after overcoming a 20-point deficit to then-No. 10 Memphis on the road in January.

It’s USF’s longest conference winning streak ever and its second-longest streak overall, tying the 1982-83 team.

The Bulls improved to 17-5 for the first time in program history and 10-1 in the American Athletic Conference to remain in first place. Their 10 conference wins are the second most in program history — the 2011-12 team won 12 when USF was in the Big East.

The Bulls trailed 38-25 at halftime, but a 19-5 run to start the second half, with Youngblood accounting for eight points, gave them a 44-43 lead with 15:37 left. The Owls (9-15, 3-8) rallied to tie with 2:36 remaining before Youngblood nailed his sixth and final 3-pointer, giving USF the lead for good, 68-65 with 1:59 left.

Youngblood was 8-for-14 shooting (6-for-7 from 3-point range). Teammates Kasean Pryor scored 12 and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Selton Miguel had 12 points.

Travis Evee scored 20 for Rice.

The Bulls return to the Yuengling Center to face Tulsa at 7 p.m. Wednesday (ESPNU).