Laquincy Rideau scored 18 points, Alexis Yetna pulled down a career-best 18 rebounds and added 13 points for his fourth double-double and USF held off a late surge to defeat Appalachian State 76-69 on Saturday.
Xavier Castaneda scored 12 points and was 4-for-4 at the free throw line in the closing minute for USF (7-2) which hadn’t played since Nov. 30.
Appalachian State (4-6) trailed by as many as 15 in the first half, but opened the second on an 11-2 run to knot the score at 40-40. USF responded with its own 11-2 run. The Mountaineers closed to 69-66 with 1:35 left, but the Bulls went 7 of 12 at the line after that.
Castaneda, a freshman, defended Ronshad Shabazz, who scored a game-high 29 points but on 10 of 19 shooting, including 2 of 7 from distance. Justin Forrest added 17 points, but that came on 4 of 13 shooting, including 3 of 8 from 3-point range.
Shabazz reached two milestones – moving into fifth place on the Mountaineers career scoring list with 1,673 points and fifth in career 3-pointers with 212.