Syracuse 89, South Florida 77
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP)—Donte Greene had 21 points and Syracuse switched from its trademark zone defense to man-to-man to pull away from South Florida in the second half for an 89-77 Big East victory Saturday.
Arinze Onuaku added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Orange (12-3, 2-0), who won for the sixth consecutive time. Paul Harris also had a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
As the second half started, South Florida (10-5, 1-1) quickly cut into Syracuse’s 14-point halftime lead, pulling to within 49-40 on Adamu Saaka’s 3-pointer with 18:22 to play.
Coach Jim Boeheim called a timeout and Syracuse abandoned its 2-3 zone. Energized by the switch to man, Syracuse outscored the Bulls 12-2 over the next 5 1/2 minutes, holding South Florida without a field goal while extending its lead to 61-42.
South Florida’s only points in that span came on two free throws by Dominque Jones, who finally ended the Bulls’ field goal drought with a layup at 12:51.
Jones finished with 23 points to lead South Florida, which is still looking for its first conference road win since joining the Big East three years ago. Kentrell Gransberry added 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Chris Howard had 19 points.
Syracuse outscored the Bulls 21-8 over the final 8:23 of the first half— including the period’s last seven points—to build a 47-33 cushion at the intermission.