TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Kentrell Gransberry scored 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds Sunday, leading South Florida to a 74-59 victory over Cincinnati.
The Bulls (10-8, 1-3 Big East) won for only the second time in 20 conference games since entering the Big East last season. Cincinnati (9-7, 0-2), which had won 15 of 16 previous meetings between the former Conference USA rivals, has lost four games in a row for the first time in 19 seasons.McHugh Mattis had 17 points and Melvin Buckley added 16 for South Florida, which led by 11 at halftime before using a 17-3 spurt to built the advantage to 52-27 with just under 12 minutes to go.Limited to one field goal in the first eight minutes of the second half, Cincinnati put together a 16-0 run to get back in the game. The Bearcats cut the deficit to nine on two occasions, but couldn't get any closer.Deonta Vaughn led Cincinnati with 21 points, however the freshman was just 7-of-22 from the field, including 3-for-16 from 3-point range. Jamual Warren scored 14 for the Bearcats, who shot 33 percent overall.The loss left Cincinnati as the only team in the Big East without a conference victory. The last time the Bearcats lost four in a row was February 1988.Poor shooting has hurt the Bearcats throughout the streak, which also includes double-digit losses to Ohio, Memphis and Rutgers. They missed 23 of 30 3-point attempts against South Florida and are 26-of-131 from behind the arc in their last seven games.Free throw shooting was a problem on Sunday, too. A 35-24 halftime deficit might have been more manageable if the Bearcats hadn't missed three of four from the foul line to waste an opportunity to trim the margin to six.South Florida lost its first 15 conference games before upsetting Georgetown in last year's season finale. This season, the Bulls dropped their first three league games to Connecticut, Pittsburgh and Louisville by an average of 22 points.