The Bulls have finished arguably the hardest part of their schedule — and they did so with vigor.
Though they fell to second-place SMU on Wednesday and first-place Tulsa on Saturday, the Bulls have shown they can compete with the best.
USF (7-15, 1-8) has shown its potential in spurts, such as Saturday when the Bulls dominated for most of the game against the Golden Hurricane (16-5, 9-0) before falling in overtime, 78-71.
The lead changed 15 times before Tulsa held it for good in front of a crowd of 4,939 at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
USF led for 21 minutes in regulation, never trailing by more than two points in the second half.
The lead changed 10 times in the half, but with 21 seconds remaining, Tulsa guard Rashad Ray tied the game at 62 with a layup to force overtime.
The Bulls never led thereafter, as they were outscored 16-9 in overtime. The Golden Hurricane hit all of its field-goal attempts in the extra period, including three 3-pointers.
Three Bulls accounted for 66 of USF’s 71 points: senior guard Corey Allen Jr. scored a career-high 32, junior guard Anthony Collins had 19 and junior guard Nehemias Morillo finished with 15.
USF made a season-high 10 threes and shot 50 percent from the floor, holding Tulsa to 43 percent shooting.
Tulsa showed its depth, however, as five players scored in double figures. The Golden Hurricane outscored the Bulls 27-2 in bench points.
Looking ahead, USF plays nine more games in the regular-season schedule before the AAC tournament. Five of those games are at home, and six of those games are against teams that are under-.500 in conference play.
The Bulls put up a fight against the AAC’s leading team, potentially building momentum to go into their home game against Temple (15-7, 6-3) on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.