J. Meric

No. 25 Marquette Pulls Away From USF After Break

January 28, 2013
Team 1st 2nd OT Final
24 26 -- 50
#25/RV Marquette 28 35 -- 63



USF Senior Writer

TAMPA - The Bulls couldn't catch up to No. 25 Marquette after suffering a lengthy scoring drought in the second half Monday night.

The USF men's basketball team went almost five minutes without a point to start the second half and went nearly seven minutes without a field goal in a 63-50 loss at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisc.

"We didn't start the second half off very well again and that's a problem," USF head coach Stan Heath said. "We have to come out of the gates in the second half with a lot more energy and a lot more fight."

Marquette's Vander Blue scored 21 of his career-high 30 points in the second half to help the Golden Eagles (15-4, 6-1) move into a tie for the conference lead with Syracuse. Marquette also extended its home win streak to 21 games.

"Their speed really bothers you on both sides of the court," Heath said. "They do a great job of putting pressure on you, rotating and finishing things up, and we didn't do a good job of finishing layups."

USF (10-10, 1-7) was led by JaVontae Hawkins' career-high 14 points while Zach LeDay had 10 points and seven rebounds in another strong performance from the freshmen. Victor Rudd was the other Bull in double figures with 13 points.

"Those two guys are taking advantage of an opportunity," said Heath of Hawkins and LeDay.

Points were not an issue for the Bulls early in their third straight loss.

USF knocked down four of its first five three-point attempts on the way to grabbing a 20-17 lead more than midway through the first half. LeDay hit two of those 3-pointers and teamed up with Hawkins to score 17 of the Bulls' first 22 points.

Marquette took the lead back with a 6-0 run while USF went scoreless for nearly five minutes until a thunderous Rudd dunk cut USF's deficit to 26-24 with about a minute to go before the break. The Golden Eagles went back inside and got a layup from Davantae Gardner to extend their lead to 28-24 just before halftime. Marquette scored 18 points in the paint and shot 56 percent in the opening period.

Hawkins was well on his way to a new career high in scoring with nine points at the break. The guard's hot start was a huge help for a USF team that turned the ball over 10 times in the first 20 minutes.

USF's second point drought of the game proved to be costly as Marquette started the second half on a 10-0 run that pumped its lead up to 38-24. USF's first point of the second half came on a free throw by Jawanza Poland with 15:11 to play.

A flagrant foul on Gardner with 13:46 to play paved the way for two Anthony Collins free throws and a 3-pointer by Toaryln Fitzpatrick cut Marquette's lead to 40-30. Fitzpatrick's jumper was USF's first field goal of the second half and it was knocked down with 13:03 remaining.

A 6-0 run by Rudd cut USF's deficit to 46-38 and a pair of free throws by LeDay got the Bulls within eight with less than eight minutes remaining. A 3-pointer by Poland put USF back within eight with 4:26 to play, but that's as close as the Bulls got the rest of the way.

USF looks to regroup 2 p.m. Sunday at UConn. The Bulls meet back up with Marquette in Tampa on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m.















USF FG-A 3FG-A FT-A  Pts. 
JaVontae Hawkins 6-9 2-3 0-0 14
FG-A  3FG-A  FT-A Pts. 
Vander Blue 13-20 1-5 3-7 30
USF Off. Def. Total
Zach LeDay 5 2


Off. Def. Total

Trent Lockett

3 5 8
USF Asst. Stl.  Blk. 
Anthony Collins 4 0 0
Asst. Stl. Blk.
Junior Cadougan 6 1 0

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