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Bearcats Survive Second Half Rally, Defeat USF 82-74

Things got dicey for a bit, but Jarron Cumberland made sure the Bearcats finished the night with a win.

NCAA Basketball: South Florida at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Jarron Cumberland poured in a career-high 34 points as the Cincinnati Bearcats fended off a challenge from the visiting USF Bulls to capture a 82-74 victory at Fifth Third Arena on Tuesday night.

The Bearcats may have beaten the Bulls, but they didn’t make it easy for themselves. After rolling to a 43-31 halftime lead, UC’s defense broke down over the final 20 minutes, as the Bulls opened the second half on a 24-12 run to close the gap and tie the game at 55 all with 11:52 to play. Cumberland didn’t let the Bearcats collapse, however, as he untied the game with a jumper seconds later, sparking an 8-0 run. The Bulls responded with a 10-2 run of their own to tie things once again. Cumberland then split a pair of free throws and the Bearcats were able to keep the Bulls at arms length the rest of the way.

All five starters scored in double figures for the Bearcats (15-3, 4-1 American Athletic Conference), who have now won three-straight games. Trevon Scott netted 12 points, Keith Williams added 11 and Nysier Brooks and Justin Jenifer each tacked on 10.

USF shot 46.9 percent from the field overall, which was a bit better than the Bearcats (45.1 percent). The real difference in the game were the 21 turnovers UC forced.

Following Tuesday’s win, the Bearcats will get ready for a trip to take on Wichita State this Saturday.