Brandon Rachal scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds as Tulsa defeated South Florida 56-48 on Saturday in Tampa, Florida, remaining undefeated against the Bulls in nine meetings.
Lawson Korita added 10 points for Tulsa (17-8, 9-3 American Athletic Conference). Darien Jackson added six points and five rebounds. Tulsa has won two in a row and eight of 10.
South Florida was held to a season-low 11 points in the first half on 5-for-17 shooting, including 0-for-6 from beyond the 3-point arc. The Bulls committed 13 first-half turnovers.
“Our defense in the first half was terrific. We knew it would be this type of game where we had to grind it out,” Tulsa coach Frank Haith said in a news release. “I am proud of our guys bowing their backs, making plays when we needed to. We did a good job of executing, driving to the rim and finishing around the basket.”
USF got back within four points on a few occasions in the second half, but Rachal scored eight straight points for TU during a late stretch to help the Hurricane hang on for the win.
David Collins had 14 points for the Bulls (11-14, 4-8). Justin Brown and Laquincy Rideau each had 10 points. USF has now lost two after a three-game win streak ended.
Tulsa plays at Houston on Wednesday.