Brad Wanamaker drives for the basket
Jan. 31, 2010
TAMPA, Fla. (AP)--Dominique Jones scored 37 points and South Florida extended its school-best Big East winning streak to three straight games with a 70-61 upset of No. 17 Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Jones made 10 of 20 shots from the field and 14 of 17 free throws. USF (14-7, 4-5) nearly squandered a 14-point lead down the stretch, but held on by making 11 of 14 free throws in the final three minutes.
Gilbert Brown scored a career-high 25 for Pittsburgh (16-5, 6-3), which has dropped three of four conference games after starting 5-0 in the league and working its way into the Top 10. The Panthers hurt themselves by missing five free throws after pulling within 54-50 with 5:33 remaining.
South Florida has won four of five following an 0-4 start in the conference. The Bulls improved to 10-82 against ranked teams, including 4-20 since leaving Conference USA for the Big East.
Pitt rebounded from its first two-game losing streak in nearly two years by beating St. John's on Thursday night. The Panthers missed 11 of their first 15 shots in this one and trailed 22-11 before wiping out the early deficit with an 11-0 run led by Brown.
The 6-foot-6 junior had eight points in the spurt and finished the opening half with a dunk and jumper that helped the Panthers withstand another USF surge that carried the Bulls to a 31-26 lead at the break.
Jones averaged 37 points in leading South Florida to overtime wins over Providence and Seton Hall for the Bulls' first two-game conference winning streak since entering the Big East four seasons ago.
The league's third-leading scorer behind Notre Dame's Luke Harangody and Seton Hall's Jeremy Hazell had 13 points on 4 for 11 shooting the first half. He got some timely support from Chris Howard and Mike Mercer to regroup after Pitt's big first-half run.
Jones made a 3-pointer and a turnaround jumper in the lane during the burst that enabled USF to open a 51-37 lead midway through the second half. Pitt made up most of the deficit with a 12-2 spurt but never got closer than four down the stretch.