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:
March Madness: Interactive bracket & tourney history