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South Florida upsets No. 19 Louisville

Mar 1, 2012 - 4:30 AM Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Jawanza Poland netted 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting and South Florida knocked off No. 19 Louisville, 58-51, on Wednesday.

Toarlyn Fitzpatrick finished with 11 points and seven rebounds, while Augustus Gilchrist and Anthony Collins added eight points apiece for the Bulls (19-11, 12-5 Big East), who snapped an 11-game losing streak to Louisville.

"I think so; on the road against Louisville with so much on the line. I don't know history that well, but I know for me personally, it is," South Florida head coach Stan Heath said when asked if he thought it was the biggest win in program history.

Kyle Kuric and Chris Smith paced the Cardinals (22-8, 10-7) with 14 points apiece and Chane Behanan added nine points and seven rebounds. Louisville struggled from the floor, shooting just 34 percent and just 5-of-22 from three-point range.

With the game tied and 5:35 to play, Gilchrist sank a jumper to give USF a 43-41 lead which they would not relinquish.

Behanan made 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to get the Cardinals within one, but a layup by Hugh Robertson and a trey by Poland put the Bulls ahead 48-42 with three minutes to play.

Smith converted a three-point play for the Cardinals to make it 48-45, but Poland hit a jumper at the other end to make it a two-possession game again at 50-45, with 1:20 to play.

Kuric drained a big three-pointer for Louisville with 39 seconds left to make it 51-48, but the Cardinals were in the double-bonus, and it was then up to the Bulls to make their free throws and put the game away.

Fitzpatrick, Collins, Victor Rudd Jr. and Poland all stepped to the line in the final seconds and knocked down key free throws to cement the win, which will give the Bulls a good chance to end an NCAA Tournament drought that goes back to 1992.

"It was a tough loss on senior night; they (USF) were the better basketball team tonight in that style," Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said. "They're bigger, stronger; you got to give them credit. They've been waiting a long time to get into the (NCAA) tournament. You have to give them a lot of credit; they were the better basketball team."

The game went back-and-forth early, as South Florida led 7-5 with under 14 minutes to go in the first half, but the Bulls used a 7-2 spurt to extend their lead to 14-7 just before the halfway point.

Louisville responded with an 8-0 run to take a 15-14 lead with seven minutes to play in the half.

Poland answered on South Florida's next touch to put the Bulls back on top, 16-15, and they took a 22-17 edge into the locker room at the break.

A dunk by Gilchrist early in the second half put USF up 28-23, but the Cardinals answered with an 11-2 push to take a 34-30 lead with 14:11 left in the game.

It remained a one-possession game for the next five-plus minutes as a pair of free throws by Smith put Louisville up 41-39, but Fitzpatrick answered with a tip-in at the other end to knot it at 41.

Game Notes

Prior to Wednesday's game, the Bulls had lost 10 straight road games against a ranked opponent. They improved to 1-5 against ranked teams this season...South Florida secured its fifth road win of the season for the first time since 2000-01...Louisville matched its lowest offensive output of the season. It also scored 51 points in a loss to Syracuse on February 13...South Florida shot 44.9 percent from the floor but held a rebounding edge of 40-29.