Rideau, Collins lead USF past UConn 75-60
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — UConn and South Florida were both coming off disappointing conference opening losses.
USF rebounded quickly while the Huskies struggled again.
“I’m really pleased with the response,” South Florida’s Brian Gregory said. “It’s a great win for us. It showed why and how we can win.”
James Bouknight had 11 points for UConn (9-5, 0-2 American), which was coming off a 67-51 loss at Cincinnati on Wednesday night.
“When you don’t have a guy in the program that’s ever had a winning season and things start going sideways, it’s hard to have that strong leadership presence as a player, ” UConn coach Dan Hurley said. “’Hey, get behind me, follow me, I know how this is suppose to go’ and then that runs through a team. I think that’s a large part of what you’ve seen here the last two days.”
“I don’t think it’s any of the player’s fault, I don’t think it’s any of our fault,” Hurley added. “We’ve just got a long way to go as a program. here.”
UConn senior guard Christian Vital had nine points. He’s averaging 13.8.
The Huskies got within 12 with eight minutes remaining but Rideau’s layup completed a 7-0 run that made it 70-51.
“We picked up defense,” said Rideau, who also had eight rebounds.
UConn finished 6 for 16 from 3-point range, but missed all six tries in the second half.
Justin Brown put USF ahead 53-38 on a 3-pointer with 15 1/2 minutes to play.
South Florida went 21 of 29 from the free-throw line. UConn made 10 of 16.
Rashun Williams extended the Bulls lead to 61-42 midway through the second half. That surge came during a four-minute scoreless stretch by UConn.
Rideau had 13 points as USF took a 39-32 halftime advantage. He had a 3-point play and added a layup during a 12-2 run that put the Bulls up 39-29.
Alterique Gilbert cut the UConn deficit to seven on a long-range jumper with 9 seconds left in the first half.
“This game is a lot about confidence,” Hurley said. “It’s about putting the last game behind you. We’ve got to spend a lot of time soul searching and a lot time trying to repair the psyche of the number of the guys that have been struggling.”
UConn: It was a rare loss in the all-time series between the teams. The Huskies have won 22 of the 26 overall meetings.
USF: Rideau has had success against UConn. In three previous games, the senior guard averaged 17.7 points and six rebounds.
UConn: Has its conference home opener against Tulane on Wednesday night.
USF: Play Tuesday night at East Carolina.