TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Toarlyn Fitzpatrick made big shots from the outside and Anthony Collins had key points down the stretch as South Florida ended a long slide.
Fitzpatrick scored 19 points, Collins and Victor Rudd both added 16 and the Bulls stopped a 10-game losing streak by beating DePaul 83-73 Sunday.
“It was Senior Day,” Fitzpatrick said. “I had a lot of family that was here watching, so I was just playing with a whole lot of confidence. Every time I shot the ball I just felt like it was going in, and I got lucky.”
Collins had eight consecutive points, including two layups, to put the Bulls ahead 70-62 with 4½ minutes to play. The point guard’s in-close basket made it 75-64 2 minutes later.
“My teammates always tell me to look for my own shot because I try to get them the ball, and they say they may need me to score sometimes, so that’s what I was trying to do,” Collins said.
Collins also had four assists, which moved the sophomore into a tie for 10th place on the all-time South Florida list (328) with Dominique Jones.
South Florida (11-17, 2-14 Big East) also got 13 points from Martino Brock.
Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young both scored 18 points for DePaul (11-18, 2-14). Melvin became the 13th player in school history to reach 1,400 career points.
“It’s a great accomplishment just reaching that standpoint,” Melvin said. “In the meantime, I’m still upset about the loss to South Florida.”
The teams are tied for last place in the Big East.
The Blue Demons had a 9-0 run, keyed by Charles McKinney’s three-point play, to pull even at 56 midway through the second. DePaul took its first lead, 60-58, when Jamee Crockett made two free throws with 8:13 left.
Fitzpatrick connected on three 3-pointers during a 12-4 stretch that gave South Florida a 53-45 lead with 13 minutes to play.
“That’s all we’ve been preaching, ‘Let’s just finish strong,’” South Florida coach Stan Heath said. “It was a great team effort all the way around.”
DePaul, which trailed by 11 in the first half, tied it at 37 on Donnavan Kirk’s basket 1 minute into the second half.
“Fitzpatrick obviously gave them the big offensive boost midway in the second half, and then Collins just kind of controlled things down the stretch,” DePaul coach Oliver Purnell said. “Those are two important guys for them.”
Rudd had 10 points as South Florida grabbed a 37-33 halftime lead.
The teams started the game by missing 11 combined shots and turning the ball over three times.
Rudd made the first basket of the game, a 3-pointer, with 16:14 left in the opening half. Young got the Blue Demons on the board with a layup on the ensuing possession.
South Florida took a 14-6 advantage on Fitzpatrick’s long-range jumper 8 minutes into the game.
After DePaul got within 23-20, South Florida went on a 10-2 run for a 33-22 lead. Rudd ended the surge with his trey with 6 minutes remaining.
A 3 by Crockett cut the DePaul deficit to 35-33.
South Florida has won the last eight games between the teams.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.