Without lead scorer Shake Milton, SMU fell to USF, 65-54, in the final game of the regular season on Sunday afternoon in the Sun Dome, in Tampa, Florida. Although the Mustangs led 27-22 at halftime, the Bulls recorded more than double their first half points in the second half and secured the 11-point victory.
Earlier this season, the Mustangs defeated the Bulls by 40 points in Moody Coliseum, but the short-handed Mustangs couldn’t find the same success shooting this time.
The Mustangs concluded their regular season with only seven eligible scholarships players and multiple players on the bench with injuries. Milton’s right hand injury removed him from the past eight games, while Jarrey Foster and Everett Ray have both been out for the season.
Ethan Chargois returned to the court after missing the Cincinnati game due to a right ankle injury. Chargois led the Mustangs in scoring against USF with 15 points.
Jimmy Whitt followed closely behind, recording 14 points for the Mustangs. Ben Emelogu led the team in rebounds with 11.
South Florida’s David Collins led the Bulls with 21 points. Terrence Samuel led with 12 rebounds.
Up next, both teams will prepare for the American Athletic Conference Championship tournament. The tournament begins on Thursday in the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. No. 9 SMU will face No. 8 UConn at noon, and No. 12 USF will face No. 5 Memphis at 2 p.m. ET to kick off Round 1.
The final championship game will be on Sunday, March 11 at 3:30 p.m ET.