USF seeks first Big East road win

The Bulls’ last win came against DePaul on Jan. 27 in a game that featured an array of athletic plays to dazzle the home crowd.

Though they have proven they can beat the Blue Demons at home, the Bulls have yet to win a single Big East game outside of the Sun Dome.

So the question is: can the Bulls find motivation without green and gold in the building?

In their last meeting against DePaul, USF players fed off energy from their fans and one another. The Bulls’ defensive playmaking led to highlight dunks and the team totaled nine steals and six blocks.

They used the high-energy plays to spur offensive efficiency – getting to the foul line 21 times and hitting six of 12 3-pointers.

Another key factor in the Bulls’ second conference victory was bench production. South Florida reserves outscored DePaul’s bench 26 to 9. Additionally, the Bulls out-rebounded the Blue Demons 31 to 22.

The Bulls will have to contain Cleveland Melvin – the Big East’s top freshman scorer who averages 14.2 points per game. Melvin had a game-high 17 points last time the two teams faced off and played all but two minutes.

Saturday night’s game in the Allstate Arena is the Bulls’ last game against an unranked opponent. Their final two outings are against No. 4 Pittsburgh at home and No. 25 St. John’s in Madison Square Garden.

USF has beaten DePaul five straight times – the longest winning streak against any team since the Bulls joined the Big East in 2005-06.