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PJ Haggerty scores 32 as Tulsa snaps No. 24 South Florida's 15-game winning streak with 76-70 win

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Freshman PJ Haggerty scored a career-high 32 points, including 26 in the second half, as Tulsa defeated No. 24 South Florida 76-70 on Saturday, snapping the nation’s longest winning streak at 15 games.

Tulsa (16-14, 7-11 American Athletic Conference) held USF to 30% shooting in the second half, coming back from a 37-31 halftime deficit.

Haggerty, the conference’s 13-time freshman of the week and nation’s leading freshman scorer at 20.6 points per game, scored 10 points of a 16-5 Tulsa run, prompting South Florida to take a timeout with 8:10 to play. Cobe Williams, who added 23 for Tulsa, hit a 3-pointer out of the break. Haggerty continued to pour it on from there, scoring Tulsa’s next 10 points to give Tulsa a 69-58 lead with 2:33 remaining.

South Florida (23-6, 16-2) pulled within 70-67 on a tip-in by Kasean Pryor with 1:20 left but Tulsa made 6 of 9 free throws from there.

“We had opportunities to stretch the lead, but in the second half Haggerty and Cobe Williams were the most competitive players on the floor,” said South Florida coach Amir Abdur-Rahim. “We didn’t match their competitiveness and that was disappointing.

“Haggerty is just a really crafty player. He’s 6-4, strong and he never gets in a hurry. With his strength and patience he just really made it tough on us.”

Tulsa coach Eric Konkol marveled at Haggerty’s shot making and said it’s a skill he’s possessed since his earliest days of competitive basketball. Haggerty made 11 of 17 shots from the floor, 10 of 14 free throws and had seven rebounds and five assists. Williams had 11 rebounds and made 3 of 8 3-pointers and 8 of 9 free throws.

“You talk to the guys who watched him grow up and they all say he’s always been able to score,” Konkol said of Haggerty. “He’s got such balance and is constantly changing directions. He can slow down and get what he’s looking for.”

“I just try to take what I see out there,” Haggerty said. “That’s really all it is.”

Pryor led South Florida with 29 points and 11 rebounds. Chris Youngblood had 12 points and Selton Miguel 11 for the Bulls.

Pryor, a 6-10 junior, had 15 in the first half on 5 of 6 shooting including going 2of 3 3-pointers, exceeding his 12.1 scoring average by halftime.

South Florida made just 4 of 23 3-pointers.

BIG PICTURE

South Florida: The Bulls became ranked for the first time in school history last week and will be the No. 1 seed in the AAC Tournament next week.

Tulsa: A year after going 5-25 in Eric Konkol’s first season, the Golden Hurricane improved considerably, led by Haggerty, Tulsa's freshman scoring record holder who exceeded his previous high of 30 against Rice. It was Tulsa’s first victory over a ranked team since a 65-64 win over No 5 Houston on Dec. 29, 2020.

UP NEXT

Both teams will head to Fort Worth, Texas, for the American Basketball Championship at Dickies Arena. South Florida has a first-round bye and will play its first game Friday. Tulsa will play a first-round game Thursday.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball