TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — David Collins scored 20 points, Justin Brown had 19 and South Florida built a 25-point halftime lead before holding off a 41-point second-half by Jeremiah Martin to beat Memphis 84-78 on Saturday.
The Bulls scored the first 19 points of the game, including three 3-pointers by Brown, and led 26-1, after Collins scored 11 of his 16 first-half points. Memphis (13-9, 5-4) finally connected on its 17th field-goal attempt, a 3-pointer by Kyvon Davenport. It was 38-13 at halftime, easily Memphis' lowest-scoring half of the season after shooting just 14 percent to 52 percent for USF.
The Tigers came back in the second half behind Martin, who was scoreless in the first half before going 10 for 17 in the second half, including 7 of 9 from and arc and 8 of 12 at the free-throw line. Memphis got as close as six, the final time on Martin's layup with 18.3 seconds left. USF missed its final four free throws, including two with eight seconds left, but Xavier Castaneda picked off a Memphis pass to end the game.
The Bulls shot over 50 percent in both halves but gave up 30 turnovers while Memphis committed 20. There were 57 fouls called including a double technical with four Tigers and two Bulls fouling out. The Bulls were 32 of 44 at the line to 16 of 24 for the Tigers.
Laquincy Rideau added 15 points for the Bulls (16-6, 6-4 American Athletic), who have won three league games in a row for the first time since their 2011-12 Big East season.
Besides Martin's career day in points and 3-pointers, his 41 points tied for the sixth-most in school history and was the first 40-point game for a Tiger since Marcus Moody had 41 in 1997. Davenport added 13 points and Raynere Thornton had 10 rebounds with nine points.