TAMPA — Dominique Jones and Gus Gilchrist had double doubles Tuesday night and USF pulled off a rare double of its own, beating DePaul for the second time in 10 days with a 70-61 win in the Sun Dome.
"It's hard to beat a team twice," said Jones, who had a game-high 26 points and 10 rebounds, along with a game-high six assists.
Gilchrist added 16 points and 11 rebounds for his first career double double, and the Bulls outrebounded the Blue Demons 48-28, including 21 offensive.
"Twenty-one offensive rebounds, that's the story of the game," said DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright, whose team was outrebounded by 18 in the first loss. "They beat us up on the glass."
The Bulls (7-11, 2-4), who had not won more than three league games in their previous three seasons in the Big East, now have two victories, both against DePaul (8-11, 0-6), a third of the way into the conference season.
The Bulls won without their second-leading scorer, senior guard Jesus Verdejo, who suffered a concussion in a collision in a loss Saturday at West Virginia.
In his place, Gilchrist has emerged as a scoring threat, coming through with two six-point bursts in the second half. The second gave USF the lead for good, with a 3-pointer as the shot clock ran down for a 57-56 lead with 6:52 to play, then a three-point play on the next possession.
"Those two back-to-back plays, I thought that was a key stretch," coach Stan Heath said. "It gave us some momentum and I think we held onto it from there on."
Ten days earlier, USF had handed the Blue Demons an 80-58 loss in Chicago. It was just USF's second road win in four seasons of Big East play, and DePaul came into Tuesday's game as one of just three Big East teams without a conference win.
Jones, getting his fourth straight game with at least 22 points, had USF's first 10 points in the opening six minutes. USF used a 14-0 run to take a 35-22 lead with 1:47 left in the first half, but DePaul scored the last five of the half, then came out hot. DePaul opened the second half on a 14-2 run, leading 42-37 before the Bulls scored five straight.
The teams traded rallies, and a 10-0 run by USF, including six straight points from Gilchrist, put USF up 52-47. DePaul countered with a 9-2 run to lead 56-54, then USF got six straight points from Gilchrist again.
"We're so close in a lot of ways," said Heath, whose team has two league losses by five points or fewer. "There's a talent gap that we don't have, but we're still finding ways to position ourselves to win, and it was good to see us finish tonight."
USF stays at home for its next game, facing No. 20 Villanova (14-3, 2-2) on Saturday afternoon. Heath expects Verdejo to play.