(Tampa, FL) Justin Brown scored a career-high 19 points and made five 3-pointers and USF held off a late Memphis rally on its way to an 84-78 victory over the Tigers on Saturday afternoon at the Yuengling Center.
Brown made three of his five three-pointers in the opening five minutes as USF scored the first 19 points of the game and led 27-1 before Memphis made its first field goal at the 10:11 mark on a three-pointer from Kyvon Davenport. USF held Memphis to just four field goals and led 38-13 at halftime to mark the third time this season the Bulls have held an opponent to fewer than 20 points in a half.
David Collins finished with 20 points, five rebounds and two steals and has scored at least 20 points in three of his four career games against Memphis. Laquincy Rideau added 15 points, four rebounds and two steals and tied the USF single-season steals record with his 68th of the season.
Jeremiah Martin led Memphis with 41 points and made 7-of-9 three-pointers and Davenport finished with 13 points of the bench.
A three-pointer from Tyler Harris with 4:18 left in the second half cut the USF lead to 69-60 to pull Memphis within single digits for the first time since the 16:46 mark of the first half. Memphis trimmed the deficit to six points twice in the final minutes on a three-pointer and layup by Martin, but Xavier Castaneda picked up a pass on the final Tiger possession to secure USF’s third straight victory.
USF (15-6, 5-4) shot over 50 percent in each half and finished 47.1 percent from three-point range and 72.7 percent from the free throw line.
“Memphis is really good”, said Bulls Head Coach Brian Gregory. “We talked all week long about how good they’ve been playing and about their ability to comeback or extend games because of their pressure. I thought the way we played in the first 15 minutes was the best we’ve played all year long.
The Bulls continue league play Thursday at 9 p.m. when the Bulls travel to Dallas, Texas, to face SMU at Moody Coliseum.
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