South Florida rallies from 20 down to stun No. 10 Memphis 74-73

Fri, Jan 19, 2024
NCAAB News (AP)

South Florida rallies from 20 down to stun No. 10 Memphis 74-73

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - After escaping several games with last-second shots, No. 10 Memphis finally got burned.

Kasean Pryor made a go-ahead free throw with 4 seconds left, and South Florida rallied from a 20-point deficit to stun the Tigers 74-73 on Thursday night.

Pryor finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds, and reserve Selton Miguel led USF with 23 points, going 5 of 10 from 3-point range. The Bulls (10-4, 3-1 American Athletic Conference) have won eight of nine and ended a 10-game winning streak for the Tigers (15-3, 4-1), who hadn't lost since a narrow defeat at Mississippi on Dec. 2. Memphis moved into the top 10 this week.

"This one hurts because we worked so hard to get to this level," Memphis coach Penny Hardaway said.

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South Florida's comeback was the second-largest in its history. The Bulls beat a ranked team for the first time since topping Louisville on Feb. 29, 2012, and knocked off a top-10 opponent for the first time since a win over Georgetown on Feb. 3, 2010.

Coach Amir Abdur-Rahim was doused with a celebratory bucket full of water when he entered the postgame locker room.

"It's not about us," Abdur-Rahim said. "It's about the University of South Florida. ... This is a great win for the University of South Florida, and this group of kids who allow us to push them."

With the game tied at 73-all, Pryor took an inbound pass alone in the paint and elevated for dunk but took a hard foul from Nae'Qwan Tomlin. Pryor made the first free throw but missed the second.

Quinerly, who hit two game-winning 3-pointers during Memphis' winning streak - against SMU and Tulsa - had a chance to do it again, but this time he missed a 3 at the buzzer.

Asked if Memphis got complacent with the early big lead and the escapes in close games, Tomlin replied: "Probably."

"(South Florida) came out and played real hard, so credit to them," he said.

David Jones led Memphis with 25 points and Quinerly finished with 15. Chris Youngblood had 13 points for USF.

Memphis led 52-32 early in the second half and USF responded by going on a 9-0 run with Pryor, Kobe Knox and Brandon Stroud each making a 3. The Bulls inched closer throughout the period and Jayden Reid tied it with a layup with 37 seconds left - his only basket of the game. A turnover by Quinerly helped set up USF for Pryor's decisive free throw.

Jones had 18 points in the first half - including a run of 11 straight - for Memphis, which led 47-32 at the break. The Tigers were effective in transition, finishing the half with a 17-0 advantage in fast-break points and scoring 14 points off eight Bulls turnovers.

"Bad loss," Hardaway said. "National TV. Scoring 26 points in the second half after scoring 46 in the first. But when you are not playing team basketball that can happen."

Abdur-Rahim believes the Bulls have the potential for more impressive wins this season.

"We're not going to get drunk off success," he said.

BIG PICTURE

South Florida: The Bulls, who improved to 1-3 on the road this season, upped their intensity in the second half and didn't panic when Memphis took its big lead.

Memphis: The Tigers shot poorly after the break. As they've done many times this season, they let an opponent stay close, making the game more interesting than it appeared it would be. This time, it cost them at the finish.

UP NEXT

South Florida: Hosts Wichita State on Sunday.

Memphis: At Tulane on Sunday.

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