NCAA tournament 2012: South Florida tops Temple, getting in gear after ugly first half


View Photo Gallery: Toarlyn Fitzpatrick’s consecutive three-pointers midway through the second half helped South Florida overcome dreadful first-half shooting in a 58-44 victory over Temple.

South Florida spent the first half putting on a clinic of how not to run offense. The Bulls, who two nights earlier posted their first-ever NCAA tournament victory, missed 22 consecutive shots over a 16-minute stretch. They went to the locker room having shot just 11 percent from the field.

Then South Florida emerged from the locker room looking like a completely different team. The Bulls went on an offensive binge.

Toarlyn Fitzpatrick made consecutive three-pointers midway through the half and 12th-seeded South Florida won its second game in three nights, 58-44, over fifth-seeded Temple in a Midwest Region round-of-64 game on Friday night in Nashville.

Victor Rudd Jr. and Anthony Collins scored 17 points apiece as South Florida (22-13) — one of the final teams to receive an at-large bid to the tournament — advanced to play 13th-seeded Ohio on Sunday.

Temple (24-8) finished first in the Atlantic 10 regular season, but the Owls never could get on track Friday, even though they led 19-15 at halftime. Their final point total was 20 points fewer than their previous lowest-scoring game this season.

By comparison, South Florida got hot after halftime, making 14 of 23 shots, including 6 of 8 from three-point range. Fitzpatrick’s shots were followed by a three-pointer from Rudd that pushed the Bulls’ lead to 39-25.

Khalif Wyatt scored 19 points for Temple, which finished 24-8.

More on the NCAA tournament:

Box score: South Florida 58, Temple 44

Ohio smother Michigan’s shooters to pull upset

15th-seeded Norfolk St. stuns No. 2 Missouri

Another 2 bites the dust: Lehigh shocks Duke

March Madness: Interactive bracket & tourney history

2012 NCAA tournament bracket predictions

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