USF cruises past DePaul, up to third-place in Big East
Published: Monday, January 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, January 23, 2012 02:01
The USF men's basketball team finally took its show on the road Sunday.
The Bulls played a road game with the same intensity seen at home in impressive wins over Seton Hall and St. John's, taking down DePaul 75-59 to notch their second road win of the season.
The victory brought the Bulls to 12-8 on the season and 5-2 in the Big East, as well as into a tie for third place in the conference.
Up eight points after a late run in the first half, USF fought off a Blue Demons rally at the 13:00 mark of the second half, which saw its eight-point advantage shrunk to two multiple times. At that point, the Bulls went on a 6-0 run, taking advantage of DePaul's struggles shooting from the floor, and after getting the lead back to eight, they refused to look back.
Augustus Gilchrist scored a season-high 22 points and grabbed five rebounds, shooting 7-of-8 from the field, 8-of-10 from the free-throw line and scoring 14 of his points in the second half. His performance was a marked improvement from his game Wednesday night against St. John's, when he struggled to four points, all from the free-throw line, and just one rebound.
Jawanza Poland provided valuable scoring off the bench, scoring 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting, despite being in foul trouble for the majority of the second half.
Cleveland Melvin and Jamee Crockett of DePaul combined for 32 points, but the Blue Demons shot just 33 percent from the field — with a large part of the blame going to Moses Morgan and Brandon Young, who combined to shoot 1-of-23 and 0-for-11 from 3-point range.
Once again, USF's size and length provided trouble for its opponent, as the Bulls out-rebounded the Blue Demons 38-24, an advantage that fueled the Bulls to victory despite having five more turnovers than the Blue Demons.
The margin of victory, 16 points, is the third highest ever in Big East play for the Bulls, following their 17-point victory over Villanova earlier this season and a 22-point victory over DePaul in 2009.
This season also marks the first time since joining the Big East in 2006 that USF has three separate conference victories by 15 points or more, with all three of the victories coming in the last three weeks.
USF will now stay on the road, traveling to Milwaukee for a Tuesday night date with No. 21 Marquette.