Bulls beat DePaul for first Big East tourney win
USF has picked up its first-ever Big East tournament victory, getting out early and keeping DePaul at arm's length in a 58-49 win Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.
Guard Dominique Jones led the Bulls (20-11) with 20 points, while Mike Mercer added 14 with several dunks on the 16th-seeded Blue Demons (8-23). USF hasn't won 20 games in a season since 1990, when Bobby Paschal's team went 20-11 in reaching the NCAAs for the first time.
The Bulls advance to a key Wednesday showdown with eighth-seeded Georgetown, hoping to repeat perhaps their biggest upset win of the year. A win there might be enough to put USF in the NCAA Tournament, or at least into Thursday's Big East quarterfinals against top-seeded Syracuse.
USF went 0-for-8 on 3-point attempts, the first time in more than six years that the Bulls failed to hit at least one shot beyond the arc. Jones went 0-for-5, and attempted USF's only two 3s in the second half. In all, 50 of USF's 58 points came from in the paint -- six of the other points came on free throws.