The USF men’s basketball team fell apart late in their game against Eastern Michigan, losing 65-47. 

The two teams played most of the game close, with the Bulls leading by two with just under 11 minutes left in the game.  They trailed by two just after the eight minute mark, 41-39.  Then, the offense went cold. 

The Bulls were outscored 24-8 down the stretch to lose by 18.  The end result was likely more to do with the way Eastern Michigan improved than USF’s poor performance.  The Eagles shot just 37% in the first half.  That stat improved to almost 61% in the second period.  The Bulls shot 35% in the first half and 31% in the second. 

Only one Bull finished in double-digit scoring.  Guard, Payton Banks, had ten points.  Fellow guard, Terrence Samuel, had the only other noteworthy statistic for USF, nine rebounds.  Isiah Manderson, who made his season debut with the team during the game, got into foul trouble early, limiting his time to just nine minutes.  Despite the big loss, USF led most of the game, 24 minutes to 13.

The Eagles had four players scoring in double-digits.  Guard, Paul Jackson, led the team with 15 points.  Tim Bond, James Thompson IV, and Malik Ellison each scored 11.  Eastern Michigan was a lot better controlling the ball, giving up just nine turnovers to the Bulls’ 16.  And, they outscored them off the turnovers, 19-6.

Eastern Michigan improves to 5-1 on the season, with their only loss coming to Indiana, who also beat USF.  They will head to North Florida to face the 1-7 Ospreys on Wednesday. 

The Bulls fall to 4-3 after winning two in a row in their last two games.  They’ve shown moments where they are competitive against anyone, but seem to have problems with consistency.  This game was very winnable for the Bulls, minus the late game collapse.  They will visit Elon on Thursday for a 7:00 PM tipoff.  

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