Jonny Flynn made a key jumper with 2 minutes to go and Eric Devendorf hit two free throws in the closing seconds, helping No. 13 Syracuse hold off South Florida 59-54 on Friday night.
Andy Rautins scored 14 points and Arinze Onuaku added 13 for the Orange, who led by 16 at halftime but struggled to put the game away, in part because of poor free-throw shooting until Devendorf stepped to the line and calmly sank both ends of a 1-and-1 with 19.2 seconds remaining.
Syracuse (14-1, 2-0 Big East) scored the last 11 points of the opening half to take a 35-19 lead at the break and appeared to be headed for an easy victory before Dominique Jones made a pair of 3-pointers to begin a methodical comeback.
USF (5-8, 0-1) pulled to 55-52 before Flynn's jumper gave the Orange breathing room.