HOUSTON — With his team down to seven players, freshman Jahmal McMurray stepped up to score a career-high 30 points and the University of South Florida avenged an earlier loss to Houston by beating the Cougars 71-62 on Saturday, winning its first American Athletic Conference game.
McMurray scored in bursts: nine in the first five minutes after halftime as the Bulls (4-17, 1-7) pushed their lead to 16, and, after Houston rallied to 56-52 with 2:32 left, McMurray scored 11 straight points — out of USF's final 15 — to push away the Cougars (13-6, 3-4).
Chris Perry (leading scorer in a conference-opening loss to Houston) did not travel with USF after an unspecified violation of team rules, and Luis Santos left sick prior to tipoff.
Danrad Knowles and Wes VanBeck scored 15 each for Houston, which lost its fourth-straight, and conference-leading scorer Rob Gray had one point.
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