No. 7 Syracuse handles South Florida
Tampa, FL – Brandon Triche scored 20 points, James Southerland added 17 and the seventh-ranked Syracuse Orange beat the South Florida Bulls, 55-44, at the Sun Dome.
C.J. Fair posted 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Orange (14-1, 2-0 Big East), who overcame subpar shooting to notch their fourth straight victory. Syracuse shot 36.5 percent from the field and made just 4-of-17 3-pointers.
"I've never seen a worse offensive performance in, I can't remember," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim admitted. "Our offense was really bad, that's all I can tell you."
Victor Rudd compiled 15 points and 11 boards for South Florida (9-4, 0-1), which had wrapped up non-conference play on a four-game winning streak.
The Bulls jumped out to a 17-7 lead, with a trio of Rudd dunks energizing the home crowd. The junior forward hit a jumper to make it 23-18 with five minutes remaining in the first, but the Orange concluded the frame on a 12-0 surge.
Syracuse grabbed a 41-30 advantage on a Rakeem Christmas dunk and consecutive Triche baskets restored a 10-point lead at 45-35 with about 10 1/2 minutes left.
South Florida closed to within 47-42 before Southerland nailed a 3-pointer. After the Bulls turned the ball over via a shot-clock violation, Triche drove the lane for a layup to put the Orange ahead by 10 inside of two minutes.
"We just couldn't cut into (the lead)," South Florida coach Stan Heath said. "If we could have just made a shot or made a play the game would have been tighter and who knows what would have happened."
Syracuse has owned the series with South Florida, notching 10 wins in 11 meetings ... Jawanza Poland scored 12 points for the Bulls.