Bryant, Jones lead West Virginia past USF, 50-44

March 3, 2012 5:02 pm
  • West Virginia forward Kevin Jones (5) raises his arms as the clock runs down during the second half of today's game against South Florida in Tampa, Fla.
    West Virginia forward Kevin Jones (5) raises his arms as the clock runs down during the second half of today's game against South Florida in Tampa, Fla.
  • West Virginia forward Deniz Kilicli (13) knocks the ball away from South Florida forward Ron Anderson Jr. (1) during the second half of today's game in Tampa, Fla.
    West Virginia forward Deniz Kilicli (13) knocks the ball away from South Florida forward Ron Anderson Jr. (1) during the second half of today's game in Tampa, Fla.
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Darryl Bryant had 12 of his 16 points in the second half and West Virginia scored its last 10 points on free throws to hold off surging South Florida 50-44 today.

Bryant overcame a poor shooting day by going 8 for 8 from the foul line. Kevin Jones made four free throws in the final 1:51 to finish with 18 points for the Mountaineers (19-12, 9-9 Big East), who won their conference regular season finale despite shooting less than 29 percent from the field.

Anthony Collins had 11 points for USF (19-12, 12-6), which had won six of its previous seven games to build a strong case for being invited to the NCAA tournament.

Bryant missed nine of 11 shots from the floor, but the 6-foot-2 senior guard followed a jumper in the lane with a three-point play that put West Virginia ahead 41-39 with seven minutes to go. USF pulled even at 44 on Toarlyn Fitzpatrick's long 3-pointer, however the Bulls were unable to score over the last three minutes.

The Mountaineers closed out their eighth consecutive victory over South Florida by going 9-for-10 from the foul line over the final 4:26. Bryant and Jones each made four down the stretch, and freshman Jabarie Hinds made one of two free throws for his only point of the game.

USF, looking for its first berth in the NCAA tournament in 20 years, entered the game coming off what coach Stan Heath had described as the biggest victory in school history -- a seven-point road win over the Louisville that some people feel may have assured a spot in the Bulls in the 68-team NCAA field, regardless of what happens in next week's Big East Tournament.


First Published 2012-03-03 15:53:52

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