Thursday, February 06, 2014
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South Florida 79, Central Florida 78 (OT)

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[February 06, 2014]  ORLANDO, Fla.  South Florida 79, Central Florida 78 (OT): Victor Rudd scored a season-high 25 points, including eight in overtime, as the visiting Bulls knocked off the Knights in American Athletic Conference play.

John Egbunu blocked a potential game-winning layup try by Central Florida's Isaiah Sykes with three seconds to play and Shemiye McLendon drew a foul on the ensuing breakout before splitting a pair of free throws to secure the win for South Florida. Martino Brock registered 17 points and seven rebounds for the Bulls (12-11, 3-7 AAC), who won for the second time in their last three following a four-game losing streak.

Sykes recorded 24 points, 12 rebounds and five assists for the Knights (9-11, 1-8), who dropped their seventh straight game. Matt Williams added 12 points on four 3-pointers and Kasey Wilson chipped in with 11 points for Central Florida, which saw a desperation full-court heave from Calvin Newell bang off the rim as the final buzzer sounded to end overtime.

Rudd dominated in the extra frame, working in an emphatic, one-handed jam near the midway point of the period among a trio of jumpers to give South Florida a 78-72 edge. Williams capped a 6-0 Central Florida spurt to knot the game at 78 with just under a minute to play and after Sykes' potential game-winning drive was rejected by Egbunu, Wilson fouled a breaking McLendon, setting up the decisive free throw for the Bulls.

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Williams and Sykes combined for 17 points for Central Florida by intermission, while Brock, Rudd, Zach LeDay and Chris Perry all notched seven for South Florida, which carried a 37-36 advantage into halftime. The Bulls would lead by as many as seven in the second half before the Knights charged back, taking a 70-68 lead in the final minute before a jumper from Rudd with 10 seconds remaining sent the game to overtime.

GAME NOTEBOOK: South Florida improved to 3-3 in its last six meetings against Central Florida and is 21-5 all-time in the series. ... The Knights, who are among the worst free-throw shooting teams in the nation at 60.4 percent coming in, converted just 9-of-18 from the line. ... The Bulls are 7-1 on the season when leading at halftime.

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