USF Rolls Past DePaul, 71-60

TAMPA - The University of South Florida men's basketball team hosted the DePaul Blue Demons Thursday night in the Sun Dome, winning 71-60.

Highlighting the night was a total of seven team dunks off of 14 fast breaks, including a pair of thunderous throw downs by sophomore Jawanza Poland.

The Bulls were led by Hugh Robertson, who scored 16 points on 6-of-9 field goals and 2-of-4 three pointers. The Bulls also outscored DePaul off the bench 26-9.

The Blue Demons' leading scorer was Cleveland Melvin who finished the game with 17 points and was perfect from behind the arc, making all three of his attempts.

At the half the Bulls led DePaul 35-25, with Poland and Augustus Gilchrist leading the way with seven points. Poland sparked the start of the game with an alley-hoop dunk to give the Bulls the first points. The Bulls then got some help from their three-point play with Shaun Noriega, Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, and Poland all knocking down their lone attempts.

DePaul went on a three-plus minute drought in the middle of the first half, allowing the Bulls to jump out and control the lead.

The Bulls were behind the Blue Demons in field goal percentage in the first half with DePaul shooting 40.0 and the Bulls shooting 38.5. However the Blue Demons were only able to knock down one three point shot in the first half, giving them a 14.3 three point field goal percentage (1-7), compared to the Bulls 60.0 percent (3-5).

Coming out of the half the Bulls jumped out to a 12-point lead with a dunk by Robertson. Subsequently the Bulls led the whole second half with their largest lead of 15 coming around the four minute mark.

Poland was the highlight of the second half as he secured the lead and the momentum with two thunderous dunks under the 10-minute mark. The Blue Demons couldn't rally and ended up losing the game by 11, not even attempting to foul under the one minute mark.

The Bulls shot 49 percent overall (24-49) and 50 percent (6-12) from behind the arc compared to DePaul's 48.1 field goal percentage (25-52) and 23.1 percent (3-13) from behind the arc. In the first half the Bulls were perfect on free throws and Poland extended his streak to 20 consecutive free-throws, before missing a pair in the second half. Overall the Bulls finished 81 percent at the foul line making 17-of-21.

The Bulls will travel to Providence on Feb. 2nd for a 7 p.m. tip-off against the Friars. USF grabbed its first BIG EAST win against Providence at home on Jan.16, winning 79-72.

Notes

- USF's bench outscored the DePaul bench 26-9 in the game, including a 16-0 difference in the first half.

- USF led 35-25 at halftime, which was its largest halftime lead in a Big East game since playing DePaul late last season.

- The Bulls were 12-12 at the FT line at the half and 17-21 for the game.

Box Score


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