Felow Cougar Scott Kohne added two crucial free throws with four seconds left for what proved to be the winning points, who zeroed in from 3-point range to hit 7-of-11 shots in the final 20 minutes.
Josh Hogan was a major contributor from the arc hitting 4-of-6 shots in the second half including three consecutive to open the second half for the Cougars.
Saint Francis (16-10, 8-6 CL) shot .500 from 3-point range hitting 9-of-18 shots. The Cougars came into the game shooting .295 from the arc for the season.
"Our defense was pretty solid from the point we got down 17-4 and then we got a couple baskets in transition," USF coach Chad LaCross said in a release. "In our 3-man, they were forcing us to shoot jumpers, so we started running more ball screen stuff to free our guards up and got more movement in our offense. Ethan hit a 3 in there when we reversed the ball and you know hitting even one 3 helps free thing up inside."
The Cougars outscored the Pilots 15-2 to tie the game at 19. Bethel shot back in front with a 9-0 run, but again the Cougars clawed back and only trailed 34-32 at halftime after a Seth Small steal and score just before the end of the first half.
"I jotted down all the negatives on the board in the locker room, but made the point that despite all these things, the positive it that we're only down two," LaCross said. "If we go out and clean these things up, we changed how we defended the ball screens and that helped our rebounding. Then we knocked down free throws down the stretch. Scott did a nice job of not forcing things and Hogan gave us a big boost right off the bat in the second half. He did a nice job of stepping up and hitting those 3s."