Patience opened up No. 18 Tennessee'soffense and allowed Tony Harris to have a career-high 29 points.
"That's what we're working on," Harris said after hitting five 3-pointers to lead the Volunteers past South Florida 102-90 Monday night. "We've got five guys on the court at a time that can easily score," he said.
All five Tennessee starters scored in double figures.
After South Florida (0-2) pulled within six points midway through the second half, Tennessee (4-0) only allowed the Bulls to hit six more field goals the rest of the game to seal the victory.
Harris hit 8-of-14 shots, including 5-of-10 3-pointers, to lead the Vols. His previous career-high was 25 last season against Arizona.
Marlon Dawson's 3-pointer with 13:26 to go in the half gave the Bulls an 18-17 lead.
Over the next 10 minutes, the Vols went on a 29-11 run. Harris capped the spurt with a 3-pointer with 4:41 before the break to give Tennessee a 46-31 lead.
Harris followed with two more 3-pointers as Tennessee held a 56-41 halftime lead.
"We showed a little patience offensively for the first time," said Tennessee head coach Jerry Green. "Tony Harris and Vincent Yarbrough had terrific first halves."
South Florida came back early in the second half, pulling to within six on B.B. Waldon's dunk with eight minutes remaining. But the Volunteers sealed the win by limiting South Florida to only three field goals in the next seven minutes.
"The second half, we had the game where we wanted it," said South Florida head coach Seth Greenberg. "If we make our free throws in the first half and they don't shoot as wel, who knows what might happen. They're a Top 15 team."
Yarbrough finished with 25 points for Tennessee while Isiah Victor added 12 and Jon Higgins had 11.
Waldon led South Florida with 27 points and 15 rebounds while Scott Johnson added 16 points and Chris Smith had 13.
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