CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Tony Bobbitt took advantage of his starting assignment.
Bobbitt made eight 3-pointers and scored 26 points as No. 12 Cincinnati posted an 80-67 victory over South Florida in a Conference USA matchup.
Making his first start of the season with point guard Nick Williams sidelined with an ankle injury, Bobbitt went 9-of-12 from the floor, including 8-of-11 from 3-point range.
"A guy like Tony Bobbitt is reliable every night," Bearcats forward James White said. "We know that if he gets going he's going to make shots for us."
Jason Maxiell added 12 points for the Bearcats (17-3, 8-2 C-USA), who again struggled at times offensively.
Brian Swift netted 23 points for South Florida (6-14, 0-9), which has dropped nine straight games. The Bulls also have lost the last 13 meetings to Bearcats.
Looking to rebound from losses to Charlotte and Xavier and a lackluster 54-51 victory at Houston, the Bearcats used an 8-2 run to close the first half to build a 32-21 lead.
But the lead should have been more as the Bearcats went just 8-of-17 from the free throw line, something that has to disappoint coach Bob Huggins, who often is critical of his team.
As expected, Huggins was upset at his team, but for another reason.
"You've seen the last of the press out of us," Huggins said. "We can't do it with guys who don't run back on defense. We are going to have to start changing some stuff."
"There is only so much coach Huggs can do for us," Bobbitt said. "He can't put motivation in us."
A layup Robert Whaley gave the Bearcats a 45-28 lead with 14:57 remaining in the contest.
But the Bearcats missed six of their next eight shots and committed three turnovers as the Bulls used a 15-6 run to pull within 51-43 with 9:04 left on a layup by Bradley Mosley.
Mosley netted 18 points and Terrence Leather 13 for the Bulls, who stayed in the game in the second half by shooting 61 percent (17-of-28).
The Bearcats answered the Bulls' run with a 15-2 surge. Bobbitt buried a pair of 3-pointers and capped the burst with a dunk, pushing the lead to 66-45 with 6:04 to play.
"Bobbitt did something that really impressed me tonight other than his shooting," South Florida coach Robert McCullum said. "He told Kareem Johnson to run after the floor after he replaced him, and that really impressed me. It is a sign of maturity and shows he's a team player."
Field Williams added 11 points for the Bearcats, who shot 44 percent (26-of-59) and made 12 3-pointers.