5-2. Tied for third. If I told you at the beginning of the year that we would start Big East play like this, would you have believed me? Well, that's where we are now after USF's big 75-59 win against DePaul today at the Allstate Arena.
Augustus Gilchrist does what he does against DePaul, and led all scorers with 22 points on 7-of-8 shooting. JAWANZA! had 19 off the bench, including another monster dunk that we will see on SportsCenter tomorrow. Hugh Robertson had nine points and nine rebounds, and Anthony Collins also had nine points along with three assists.
Like the game against St. John's, USF looked like the better team from the start, and they were able to slowly but surely pull away from DePaul as the game wore on. They were able to get whatever they wanted after breaking through the DePaul press and shot an outstanding 56% from the field on the afternoon. The entire team did a good job against the high pressure defense, only committing 13 turnovers when the Blue Demons normally force 18 a game.
The Bulls' defense was excellent as always, and held DePaul under 34% shooting today. Cleveland Melvin had 17 points (although he needed 18 attempts), and Jamee Crockett had 15 off the bench, but Brandon Young was held to only 6 points, well below his season average. Hugh Robertson's defense made it difficult for Young to get off any shots, and he couldn't make a basket in 13 attempts.
The Bulls also did another quality job on the glass, outrebounding the smaller Blue Demons 40-29. While Toarlyn Fitzpatrick had eight rebounds, Robertson and Victor Rudd each did a great job attacking the boards and keeping DePaul from getting second and third chances.
I really can't say enough about our transition defense today. They were able to get back quickly, and limited DePaul to only eight points off of turnovers. USF also kept DePaul from getting any buckets off of the fast break. Bravo guys.
Up next is Marquette on Tuesday with a chance to move up to second in the Big East (behind only Syracuse). I know this is pretty exciting.
4 more to go.