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Bulls beat DePaul, earn 2nd Big East win
Posted Jan 28, 2011 by Adam Adkins
Updated Jan 28, 2011 at 01:11 AM
The University of South Florida men’s basketball team used a late second-half run to put the finishing touches on a 71-60 victory over DePaul on Thursday night at the Sun Dome, and the Bulls used some style while doing so.
Jawanza Poland had a pair of thunderous dunks and threw an alley-oop pass that Jarrid Famous slammed home during a 12-3 Bulls run that helped the Bulls pick up their second Big East Conference victory of the season.
While the flash late was probably the most memorable for the 3,465 watching inside the Sun Dome, it was the USF’s ability to take care of the basketball that really paved the way. The Bulls, who entered the game ranked last nationally in turnover margin, had just 13 turnovers, their second lowest total in a conference game this season.
The only time they had fewer in a Big East game was against Providence (12), which was their only previous league win.
“That was huge for us,” USF coach Stan Heath said.
The Bulls closed the first half on a 13-3 run to take a 35-25 lead into intermission, their largest lead at the break in a Big East game this season. USF’s frontcourt produced all of those points, with Toarlyn Fitzpatrick (11 points) leading the way. The King High product scored five of his seven first-half points during that stretch.
DePaul cut its deficit to 53-48 with 5:54 left to play when the Bulls went on a run that brought the home crowd to life. Poland started things with a thunderous one-handed jam, then converted a steal with a reverse jam moments later. After a Hugh Robertson lay-in, Poland put the finishing touches on the run with a lob to Famous, who slammed it home to put the Bulls ahead 65-51 at the 3:23 mark.
“We got a lot of momentum off that run,” said Poland, who finished with 11 points. “We got into the passing lanes, stepped up the defensive intensity and got some easy buckets.”
The Blue Demons did their best to get back into the game and pulled within six with 1:27 to play, but Robertson hit a 3-pointer to make it 69-60 with 51 seconds remaining and it was all but over.
“We kind of took a step back and let them come at us instead of just keep coming at them,” said Robertson, who finished with a team-high 16 points. “But once we turned the heat back up we finished the game off strong.”
USF returns to the court Wednesday at Providence.