Bulls battle, but fall to No. 2 Cuse 56-48

No. 2 Syracuse had to overcome a 13-point first-half deficit and USF battled until the end before falling 56-48 Wednesday night. USF freshman Anthony Collins had a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists, with 2 steals.

Syracuse, N.Y. (AP) — Scoop Jardine scored 15 points to help No. 2 Syracuse overcome a 13-point first-half deficit and beat South Florida 56-48 on Wednesday night.

Kris Joseph had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Orange (28-1, 15-1 Big East), who matched school records for most regular-season and conference victories — both set in 2009-10.

Anthony Collins scored 16 points for the Bulls, who endured a 12:33 stretch without a point spanning halftime. South Florida (17-11, 10-5) had a four-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 1-9 against Syracuse.

The game was decided in the final 5 minutes, with the Orange leading 47-46.

Jardine was fouled making a layup with 4:04 left. He completed the three-point play, and Joseph added two putbacks of his own misses to seal the win in the game of runs.

South Florida took advantage of Syracuse's cold shooting by opening an 18-5 lead 10:25 in when Augustus Gilchrist hit a 10-footer. After going 2 for 14 from the field, the Orange scored 26 straight points.

The run began with Dion Waiters scoring in the post to cut the Bulls' lead to 18-7 with 9:19 left in the first half. It ended with Jardine scoring in transition 2:05 into the second half to put the Orange ahead 33-20.

The Bulls weren't done.

After missing 13 consecutive shots from the field, Hugh Robertson finally scored 2:33 into the second half. South Florida eventually cut the lead to five points twice before going on a 9-0 run that was capped by Collins hitting a 10-footer with 6:25 left.

This marked only the second time this season the Orange trailed by double digits. And the only other time that happened came in a 67-58 loss at Notre Dame on Jan. 21.

C.J. Fair finished with 13 points for Syracuse, which has won eight straight since that loss.

The Orange wore their one-time only Nike-designed uniforms, designated for teams who have won a national title. The jerseys were gray — officially, platinum — with an orange stripe down each side.

Down 24-20 at halftime, South Florida held an opponent under 30 points in the first half for the 24th time in 28 games. And yet it was their lack of offense that cost the Bulls, who finished 20 of 52 from the field after opening 9 of 11.

 

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