The Bulls (9-4) trailed by five points with less than five minutes left in the game before pulling it out against a tough Braves defense. South Florida took the lead for good with 1:15 left on a pair of free throws by Corey Allen Jr. Allen ended the game with 11 points.
Walt Lemon Jr. led the Braves (5-8) with 17 points, while Tyshon Pickett added 16.
Lemon had an opportunity to tie the game with 12 seconds left when he went aggressively to the basket for a layup. Instead of a basket, however, he was charged with an offensive foul which resulted in a change of possession. Allen was then purposefully fouled with 10.5 seconds left and sank both shots to seal the victory.
South Florida shot 54.5 percent (12-22) from the charity stripe, while Bradley shot 73 percent (8-11). The Bulls shot 49 percent from the field for the game, compared to 42 percent for the Braves.
The Braves trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half before climbing back into the game. Lemon put Bradley up 30-28 for their first lead of the game on a monster dunk with under a minute left in the half.
South Florida was again without starting point guard Anthony Collins, who averages six assists per game for the Bulls. Collins has missed the last three games with a lingering knee injury, after being sidelined for two games earlier in the season.
Bradley went 0-6 during December, and open Missouri Conference play Wednesday at Northern Iowa.
South Florida hosts Memphis on Tuesday to open the American Athletic Conference schedule.