ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Kyvon Davenport scored 27 points with nine rebounds and Memphis held off a late-game push from South Florida for a 79-77 win on Thursday in the first round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament.
No. 5 seed Memphis (20-12) advances to meet fourth-seeded Tulsa (19-11) in Friday’s quarterfinals. The Tigers have won six of the last seven, including an upset of then-No. 23 Houston.
USF (10-22) was seeded 12th and had won just three games in conference, but one was a 75-51 drubbing of Memphis a week ago. Stephan Jiggetts swished an open 3-pointer from the wing and USF, which had trailed by 15 midway through the second half, was within 79-76 with 19.7 seconds remaining. Jiggetts missed a potential game-tying trey as time was running out, but Justin Brown was fouled on the rebound with 0.7 seconds showing.
He made the first, missed the second intentionally, but USF did not get off a shot. The Bulls made just 3 of 6 free throws in the final two minutes.
David Collins scored 30 on 11 of 13 shooting for South Florida, Jiggetts scored 16.