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Bulls try to end losing streak

MEN’S BASKETBALL GAME TIMEUSF (10-10, 1-6) at Marquette (14-4, 4-3)When: Tonight, 8 Where: Bradley CenterTV/Radio: Catch 47, 1250 A.M.

Conference play has crushed the Bulls this season. After starting the year 10-4, USF has dropped six straight conference games and are in a tie for last place in the Big East.

The Bulls (10-10, 1-6) will look to end their skid tonight against the Marquette Eagles (14-4, 4-3) at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.

History does not favor the Bulls, with Marquette holding a 13-2 all-time record against USF. The Eagles are also 1-0 against USF in Big East Conference play.

USF is also squaring off against a team that is very dangerous at home. Marquette is on a 14-game home winning streak dating back to last season. The last time the Eagles lost at the Bradley Center was Feb. 17, 2007 when they were bested 61-59 by the Louisville Cardinals.

On the contrary, USF is 4-6 on the road this season, and has never won a Big East Conference game on the road since joining the league in 2005.

Marquette – coming off a 79-71 win against DePaul – is led by a trio of young players. Sophomore forward Lazar Hayward is third on the team with 12.8 points per game and leads the Eagles with 6.2 rebounds per game.

Junior guards Dominic James (14.1 PPG, 4.1 assists per game) and Jerel McNeal (13.5 ppg, 3.6 apg) are first and second on the team in both categories.

The Bulls have a solid core of players, but the production of freshman guard Dominique Jones has decreased since Big East play began.

Jones – who is second on the Bulls with 15.3 points per game – has been a focal point for the opposition since non-conference play ended.

Although Jones has seen his production diminish, senior center Kentrell Gransberry has been playing great basketball.

Gransberry leads the Bulls in points per game (17.1) and rebounds per game (10.8). His averages have him ranked 8th and 1st in the Big East Conference in ppg and rpg, respectively.

Marquette is 5th in the Big East in points allowed per game (63.9). If USF is to stand any chance against the Eagles, it will have to clean up its game.

USF is shooting a conference-low 62.5 percent from the free-throw line as a team. The Bulls have also been sloppy by turning the ball over 13.6 times per game.