TAMPA — Stan Heath doesn't have depth, and his Bulls didn't have much offense to speak of Tuesday night. But USF played tough defense, and its shots came around in time for it to pull away for a 59-46 win against High Point at the Sun Dome.
"It took us a while to get going," said Heath, whose team trailed 28-24 at halftime. "I thought our guys learned a valuable lesson: Sometimes your shots aren't going to fall, sometimes it's not the flow that you like, but you can always bring the defense."
The Bulls (2-1) held just two teams under 50 points in Heath's first season, but they've done it twice this season. The surprise offensive spark came from senior forward Aris Williams, who scored eight of his career-high 11 points in a 10-2 run in the second half, including a shot to give USF its first lead with 14:16 to play.
"We picked up our defensive intensity," Williams said of the pivotal run. "We were lackadaisical in the first half, but we came in and talked about it. … We tried to pick it up in the second half, and you could see everyone was moving around better and talking to each other."
Guard Chris Howard had 14 points, but USF's top two scorers, guards Jesus Verdejo and Dominique Jones, went a combined 6-for-23 .Verdejo scored 12, and Jones had nine points and four assists.
High Point (1-3), which lost 69-56 at N.C. State on Saturday, got 17 from guard Eugene Harris. The Bulls led 47-44 with five minutes to play, then scored the next 11 to put it away. Clearwater's Cruz Daniels had nine points for the Panthers.