Young talent continues to play a big role for the Bulls (10-9, 1-6) despite a 63-50 loss Monday night on the road against Marquette.
Freshmen guards JaVontae Hawkins and forward Zach LeDay helped lead the Bulls to a comeback early in the game when they combined for 16 of the Bulls 28 points in the first half.
After a Hawkins three-pointer started things off for the Bullswith a 3-2 lead, the Golden Eagles (14-4, 5-1) got to enjoy a 10-3 run that went on for the first five minutes of the game.
As Hawkins began to bring USF back into the game with a layup off a steal from junior forward Victor Rudd, another freshman began to prove his worth for a second game in a row.
LeDay, after an impressive performance at home last Saturday, drained a three-pointer followed up by Rudds three, giving the Bulls life early in the game.
USF shot well from three-point range through the night finishing with a shooting percentage of 42.1 percent from beyond the arch.
LeDay gave the Bulls a lead with 7:25 left in the half when he hit another shot from deep, making it a three-point game with USF up 20-17.
While LeDay and Hawkins gave the Bulls energy from outside and in the fast break, Marquette
exposed the Bulls defense in the paint due to their size.
The Golden Eagles outscored USF 38-14. This was apparent from the tip off when senior center Chris Otule threw down two dunks to give Marquette its first four points and Otules only points of the night.
With USF unable to find a shot inside, Marquettes early run proved to be too much for a USF team
being led by two freshmen Hawkins finishing the half with nine and LeDay with eight.
The second half didnt start off any better.
In spite of the Bulls showing energy late in the first half, the Golden Eagles got on yet another big run, scoring 10 points unanswered.
With Marquette on a 12-1 run with 13:46 left in the game, the Bulls needed some life, and quickly.
Even a fast break three from senior forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick to pull USF within 10 points wasnt enough to jumpstart the Bulls.
Marquette managed to hold a double figure lead throughout most of the second half, succeeding in what USF couldnt.
The Golden Eagles finished the night shooting lights out from the field with 55.1 percent, while the Bulls struggled to get 27.3 percent.
Hawkins drained his last three of the night with 6:57 left to give the Bulls a late chance at a comeback, cutting the deficit to eight.
Hawkins led the team on the night with 14 points.
Every time the Bulls seemed to be on the verge of a comeback, Marquette stole the momentum the Bulls had as they kept pulling away.
The eight-point deficit was the last time of the night that USF were within single digits in a loss that still has the Bulls at last place in the Big East.
USF will look to save its two-game road trip as the Bulls head to Connecticut to take on UConn Sunday at 3 p.m.