Jones hit 10 free throws in a row down the stretch to help South Florida withstand a rally by Syracuse (16-9, 6-6) that trimmed a 19-point lead to three with 1:16 remaining. The Bulls were coming off a loss at DePaul in which they blew a 16-point advantage.
Donte Green scored 17 points and Jonny Flynn, who has played every minute of the past six games, added 16 for Syracuse (16-9, 6-6). Paul Harris had 14 points and Scoop Jardine added 10 for the Orange.
Syracuse led by one point seven minutes into the game, when South Florida began a 20-1 run for a 32-14 lead. The Orange went nearly 10 minutes during that stretch without a field goal.
Jones had 17 points at the break with the Bulls ahead 38-24.
The Orange climbed to within 79-76 on a 3-pointer by Kristof Ongenaet from the left corner with 1:16 remaining.
The loss was the second straight after three consecutive victories for Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, who joined Ralph Miller in 19th place on the all-time Division I list at 1,039 games.