Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF Bulls blow big lead, lose to Marquette Golden Eagles 59-58

TAMPA — Marquette coach Buzz Williams likened Wednesday's stunning 59-58 come-from-behind win over USF to an "out-of-body experience," saying there was no way to philosophically describe how it happened.

"South Florida could have easily have won," Williams said. "I thought they played extremely well and you look at the numbers statistically, you could argue they should have won."

But the Bulls, who outshot, outrebounded and outplayed the Golden Eagles for a lot of the game, said they had nobody to blame but themselves for blowing a 16-point second-half lead before 4,153 at the Sun Dome.

Simply put, they gave the game away.

USF committed 19 turnovers, succumbing to Marquette's pressure. And though the Bulls had several chances to tie in the final minute (thanks to six missed free throws by Marquette), it offered little solace.

"When you're up 16, there's no way you're supposed to let a team come back and win," point guard Anthony Crater said.

It appeared the Bulls (8-17, 2-10 Big East) had an upset in their grasp. USF controlled the tempo while shooting nearly 70 percent in the first half. They got big contributions from sophomore forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick (career-high 16 points) and Augustus Gilchrist (11 points). They held one of the Big East's top scorers, guard Darius Johnson-Odom, to seven points.

But USF coach Stan Heath said the tide started to turn with 14 minutes left and USF up by 16. Though Marquette picked up the fullcourt pressure, the Bulls said a lot of their mistakes were self-inflicted.

"Yes, they sped us up," Heath said. "But we fell into the trap."

Marquette (15-9, 6-5) tied it with 5:30 left and took its largest lead, 59-55, on a 3-pointer by forward Jae Crowder (who made 4 of 5 3-pointers) with 1:21 to go.

Yet with the Golden Eagles going 0-for-7 from the line down the stretch, USF had several possessions down by three. Two ended on turnovers. With 8.1 seconds to go, Crater appeared to have hit a tying 3 from the corner, but a timeout had been called by Heath a second earlier. "I knew it wasn't good because I heard the whistle," Crater said.

Then, with 1.1 seconds left — after two more missed free throws — Fitzpatrick was fouled after getting the rebound. He made the first free throw and tried to miss the second on purpose. Fittingly, the shot banked in.

Said Heath: "It was just one of those days."

Joe Smith can be reached at

Marquette 59

USF 58

USF Bulls blow big lead, lose to Marquette Golden Eagles 59-58 02/09/11 [Last modified: Thursday, February 10, 2011 10:34am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after: 5 mistakes that led to loss to Blue Jays


    We've already documented elsewhere what the Rays didn't do, how they failed to take advantage of a prime opportunity to win Wednesday's game, getting just one run after loading the bases in the seventh with one out and three of …

    Jake Faria make too many mistakes, the failure to execute costing him repeatedly.
  2. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    You wonder if the scouting reports and/or workload are catching up to rookie RHP Jake Faria. The bottom line wasn't bad again, three runs in 51/3 innings, but he's having to work harder to get there.

  4. Rays journal: Chris Archer eager for eventful final stretch

    The Heater

    TORONTO — RHP Chris Archer takes the mound today for the Rays as they head into the final 40 games of the season with little margin for error as they battle for an American League playoff spot.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) takes a moment on the mound in the second inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, August 6, 2017.
  5. Tim Tebow's slump continues, as does fan support


    CLEARWATER — On July 29, playing against the Charlotte Stone Crabs, Tim Tebow smacked a mammoth three-run homer, helping the St. Lucie Mets cruise to a 10-3 victory at Charlotte Sports Park.

    St. Lucie’s Tim Tebow, shown Monday at Spectrum Field, struggled at the plate Wednesday against the Threshers.