TAMPA — Transition baskets abounded, complemented by some nifty no-look passes and a couple of fast-break dunks tossed in for good measure.
USF men's basketball, not far removed from excruciating, has segued to entertaining.
The Bulls (12-3, 2-1), the American Athletic Conference's surprise team at this early stage of league play, converted 26 Tulane turnovers into 35 points en route to a 66-48 victory before a Yuengling Center audience of 3,115.
"I know I'm tough to please sometimes," Bulls second-year coach Brian Gregory said, "but defensively that's a pretty good effort."
USF now has won seven consecutive home games, and has won two of its first three in conference play for the first time since 2012. Its 12 victories already are the most in a season since 2012-13, Stan Heath's final year.
The definitive stretch occurred midway through the first half, a 10-0 surge that gave USF a 26-12 lead. Point guard Laquincy Rideau found 6-foot-9 freshman Mayan Kiir in transition for easy baskets on consecutive possessions, including a dunk on the latter.
Sophomore David Collins then found Rideau for a fast-break layup, and redshirt freshman Alexis Yetna — who notched his eighth double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds) — ended the run with a 3-pointer.
"We've always been good defensively, but our defense didn't create offense," said Gregory, whose team had 20 fast-break points. "Now our defense is starting to create some offense."
Tulane (4-11, 0-3), loser of five in a row, never came within eight points of the Bulls after that surge. The Green Wave went 8-for-25 from the floor in the second half and 5-for-21 (23.8 percent) from 3-point range for the game.
"It's a film we probably want to burn," Tulane coach Mike Dunleavy said.
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