TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Laquincy Rideau had 25 points, David Collins overcame foul trouble to add 17 key second-half points, and South Florida battled back from a double-digit deficit to beat UConn 76-68 Wednesday night in the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
USF (11-2, 1-0) also got 12 points from Alexis Yetna in its seventh consecutive victory. It’s the Bulls’ first seven-game winning streak since 2007-08, and their most wins in a season since 2013-14 (12).
Jalen Adams led UConn (9-5, 0-1) with 25 points and Christian Vital added 16.
South Florida trailed by 13 with 2:20 left in the first half, but eventually took the lead at 41-40 when Collins made a layup with 12 ½ minutes remaining. He scored his first point of the night moments earlier when he made 1 of 2 from the line.
Adams had a layup and connected on two free throws, cutting the deficit to 66-62 with 1:25 to go.
Collins, who entered as the Bulls leading scorer at 13.9 points, helped secure the win with four free throws in the final minute.
Adams had 11 points as UConn took a 33-25 halftime lead.
Collins went to the bench 2:10 into the game after picking up his second foul. The Bulls were outscored 19-11 without the guard and trailed 23-13 when he returned with just under nine minutes left in the first half.
Collins played six minutes in the opening half and sat for several minutes early on in the second after getting his third foul.
UConn: The Huskies were looking to rebound after an 81-58 loss to defending national champion Villanova on Dec. 22. UConn led in that game 36-35 with 17 minutes left.
South Florida: The Bulls converted just 6 of 15 first-half free throws (40 percent). USF went 23 for 31 (74.2 percent) during the second half.