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Panthers dominate Bulls in second half
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Dante Taylor donated a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, as 23rd-ranked Pittsburgh used a second-half surge to top South Florida, 64-44, on Wednesday at Petersen Events Center.
"It feels really good," Taylor said of his first double-double of the season. "I've been working hard these last few weeks in practice, so I just tried to carry it over to these last few games."
Tray Woodall paced the Panthers (22-7, 10-6 Big East) with 14 points, while J.J. Moore chipped in nine points off the bench to help Pittsburgh earn its second consecutive victory.
Victor Rudd poured in a game-high 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Bulls (10-17, 1-14), who have dropped 10 straight and 14 of their last 15 games.
South Florida kept it close early on and trailed by just one, 26-25, at halftime before Lamar Patterson opened the second half with a layup to push the margin to three.
The Bulls responded with five straight points to grab a 30-28 lead, but the visitors went the next eight-plus minutes without a field goal, allowing Pittsburgh to run away with the contest.
With South Florida unable to score, the Panthers ripped off 16 straight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers from Woodall and Durand Johnson, to take a 44-30 advantage on Moore's layup with 9:45 remaining.
South Florida never recovered and trailed by double digits the rest of the way.
"It just seemed like we had a hard time finishing plays, making layups, and some short shots," South Florida coach Stan Heath admitted. "We just couldn't get anything going offensively."
The Bulls led by as many as eight in the first frame before a Taylor jumper sparked an 8-0 Pittsburgh push to knot the game at 14-14.
It remained a one-possession game from there until Trey Zeigler's layup sent the Panthers on a quick 6-0 sprint, but South Florida closed the half on a 6-2 swing to trim the margin to one heading into the break.
South Florida swept the season series with Pittsburgh last season ... Pittsburgh's bench outscored South Florida's reserves, 28-9 ... Every Pittsburgh player that appeared in the game scored at least two points ... Pittsburgh shot 41.7 percent (20-for-48) from the field and held USF to 31.9 percent shooting (15-for-47).
02/27 23:17:06 ET