Charlotte 77, South Florida 74
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Diego Guevara scored 22 points _ all but one on seven 3-pointers _ and Charlotte advanced to the Conference USA tournament semifinals for the fifth straight year with a 77-74 win over South Florida Thursday.
Guevara fell one 3-pointer shy of his own tournament record set last year in a 76-73 win over UAB. The 49ers (19-10) went 13-of-38 from 3-point range, tying their own tournament record for made 3s and breaking their record for attempts (31), both also set last year against the Blazers.
Jobey Thomas scored 20 and James Zimmerman added 13 for Charlotte (19-10), which won at Freedom Hall for the fifth straight time.
B.B. Waldon scored 21 to lead South Florida (18-13), which has never advanced to the tournament semifinals.
The 49ers opened the game with a 14-1 run as South Florida missed its first nine shots. The Bulls trailed by as many as 12 in the first half, but Reggie Kohn’s 3-pointer from the corner pulled South Florida into a 47-47 tie with 11:37 left in the game.
Guevara then sank four unanswered 3s over the next two minutes to help Charlotte rebuild its double-digit lead.
The Bulls steadily climbed back into the game behind Waldon, who scored 20 of his points in the second half. Altron Jackson’s 3-pointer with 59.2 seconds left cut Charlotte’s lead to 73-72.
Rodney White scored inside with 25.8 seconds left and Thomas sank a free throw with 7.9 seconds remaining to keep the Bulls at bay. Waldon missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would’ve sent the game into overtime.
South Florida, the league’s top shooting team at 46 percent per game, went just 25-of-67 (37 percent) on Thursday and finished with five losses in its last eight games.