Jacksonville Sports Day

USF Bulls Top Loyola Marymount to Reach CBI Finals

Photo by Matthew Lerman

TAMPA – Alexis Yetna registered his league-leading 14th double-double of the season and the USF men’s basketball team advanced to the finals of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) with a 56-47 victory over Loyola Marymount Thursday evening at the Yuengling Center.

“We’ve played three games in this tournament and we’ve played three great teams. Loyola Marymount had a great year and you can see why. They are the best defensive team in that league, and that’s the league with Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s and San Francisco,” said coach Brian Gregory. “We’re pretty good defensively too, and that’s kind of what the game was.”

Yetna scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and has posted a double-double in all three games of the tournament. David Collins added 11 points and three steals to help the Bulls tie the single-season school record for wins.

Mattias Markusson, James Batemon and Erik Johansson all scored nine points for Loyola Marymount.

Johansson put Loyola Marymount ahead 17-10 with a three-pointer at the 8:44 mark of the first half, but USF responded with a 10-1 run to take a 20-18 lead after three free throws by Mayan Kiir (Bradenton, Fla.). Markusson scored in the final minute to tie the game at 22 heading into halftime.

USF (22-13) used a 22-7 run to open the second half to build a 44-29 lead on a layup by Laquincy Rideau (West Palm Beach, Fla.) Loyola Marymount held USF without a field goal over the next 6:46 to cut the lead to three points with just under five minutes remaining. Collins ended the drought with an old fashioned three-point play to put the Bulls ahead by six.

Loyola Marymount (22-12) managed just two field goals over the final 6:33 as USF held its fifth opponent this season to under 50 points.



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