TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Derryck Thornton scored 22 points, Nik Popovic had 15, and Boston College rallied past South Florida for a 74-60 victory Sunday afternoon.
Boston College (2-0) capitalized on a 38-29 rebounding advantage, led by Steffon Mitchell with 13 and Popovic with eight. Julian Rishwain helped the Eagles with 11 points, and C.J. Felder added 10.
South Florida (1-1) forced 28 turnovers but failed to take advantage with 40.7 percent overall shooting, costly fouls and 21 turnovers of its own.
The Eagles went on a 20-4 run late in the first half after five lead changes. Popovic, a 6-foot-11 senior forward, capped the surge with a buzzer-beater from the left corner to make it 43-32.
South Florida was in control for most of the first half, taking its biggest lead at 26-17 seven minutes before the break.
David Collins led the Bulls with 19 points and seven steals. Laquincy Rideau scored 14 points, and Ezacuras Dawson finished with 11.
Boston College: A pair of newcomers have the Eagles off to a flying start. Thornton, a graduate transfer from USC, produced 45 points in his first two games. Freshman guard Jay Heath has 24, including 18 in a season-opening victory against Atlantic Coast Conference rival Wake Forest.
South Florida: The Bulls are missing star forward Alexis Yetna, who suffered a season-ending knee injury during a preseason practice. The redshirt sophomore was the American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year last season with a league-leading 9.6 rebounds per game and 15 double-doubles.
Boston College will look to remain unbeaten when it begins a five-game homestand against High Point on Wednesday night, the first of its four opponents in the eighth annual Gotham Classic.
South Florida hosts IUPUI on Wednesday night in the opening round of the eight-team Cayman Islands Classic.
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