MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Terrence Leather scored 16 of his 21
points in the second half, and South Florida upset Cincinnati 80-68 Thursday night in the Conference USA tournament
The 11th-seeded Bulls (14-15) now have won three straight and
reached the tournament semifinals for the first time in their last
season as a member. The Bulls will be playing in the Big East next
season along with Cincinnati.
No team has dominated Conference USA like the Bearcats, who were
trying to add a fifth tournament title to the one they won last
But it will be the Bulls playing Memphis, an 83-69 upset winner
over Charlotte, in the semifinals Friday instead of
Brian Swift added 16 points for the Bulls, James Holmes and
Marlyn Bryant each had 14.
Jason Maxiell led Cincinnati with 21 points, Eric Hicks added 18
and James White had 10.
The Bearcats had dominated their series with USF, winning 18 of
the 21 games and the last 14.
USF, which now has upset two ranked teams in its winning streak,
never backed down against the physical Bearcats (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today; No. 21 AP). The Bulls outshot
Cincinnati 45.2 percent to 37.1 percent and outrebounded the
Cincinnati hit just 12 of 36 in the second half.
The Bearcats led 50-46 on a jumper by Armein Kirkland when the
Bulls got going and scored the next 11 points, including eight from
Leather. His second straight 3-pointer put the Bulls up 57-50 with
The Bulls led 71-57 on a bucket by Jones with 6:41 to go.
Cincinnati tried to respond as White scored on a three-point
play, and Nick Williams hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to
pull within 71-65 with 5:13 left. That was as close as the Bearcats
The Bulls led 36-35 at halftime after refusing to back down
against Cincinnati in a half with five ties and eight lead changes.
USF upset sixth-seeded Houston in the opening round, and the
Bulls started their quarterfinal with an 8-2 run for a 21-13 lead
on Leather's 3 midway through the half.