TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Breaon Brady scored 13 points and Armoni Brooks added 11 to lead No. 21 Houston over South Florida 69-60 on Saturday night.
The Cougars (18-1, 5-1 American Athletic Conference) squandered most of a 16-point second-half lead before pulling away for good over the last 10 minutes.
David Collins led South Florida (12-6, 2-4) with 23 points, 21 of them after halftime. Alexis Yetna scored 12, none in the second half.
Houston limited USF to 23.8 percent shooting (5 for 21) and finished the first half on a 16-6 run to open a 35-25 lead. The Cougars built the advantage to 16 before Collins scored six points over a two-minute stretch to help the Bulls whittle their deficit to 47-43 with 10:38 remaining.
Brison Gresham’s three-point play and Galen Robinson’s first points of the night on a short jumper settled the Cougars, who methodically built the lead back to double-digits. Collins made three free throws to make it a six-point game before Houston closed it out from the foul line.
Houston: The Cougars won for the third time since suffering their only loss, 73-69 at Temple on Jan. 9. They get another crack at the Owls on Jan. 31 in Houston, where the Cougars have the nation’s longest home winning streak at 29 games.
South Florida: The Bulls have lost 25 consecutive games to ranked opponents. USF’s last victory over an AP Top 25 team was Feb. 29, 2012 at Louisville. They haven’t beaten a ranked team at home since defeating Seton Hall seven years ago this month.
Robinson, who finished with five points and two assists, joined Derrick Daniels as the only players in school history with four 100-plus assist seasons. He’s four assists away from becoming the sixth player in program history with 500 in a career.
Houston: Return home to face East Carolina on Wednesday.
South Florida: Host Wichita State on Tuesday.
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