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USF Bulls stun No. 7 Georgetown Hoyas in huge Big East road victory

WASHINGTON — Stan Heath was stunned. His USF Bulls had just pulled off an awesome win, and he wasn't sure what to say.

USF humbled No. 7 Georgetown 72-64 before 12,207 dumbfounded fans at the Verizon Center, and he could only smile.

"I'll be brutally honest, I'm really amazed at our team," Heath said. "This is our biggest win in school history."

The Bulls (15-7, 5-5 Big East) had not only beaten a nationally ranked team for the second time in four days, and knocked off the highest-ranked team in school history; they did it convincingly.

Trailing by 13 late in the first half, USF outscored the Hoyas (16-5, 6-4) 46-29 in the second. After being outshot 60 to 36 percent in the first half, the Bulls outshot Georgetown 65 to 36 percent in the second. It added up to USF's fourth straight win and fifth overall in the Big East, the most it has had since joining the conference in 2005.

Dominique Jones was held to seven points in the first half, when he missed six of his eight shots. In the second half, he hit 6-of-9 and finished with 29.

He got caught up in the moment, too, bellowing "Y'all come watch Dominique Jones play!" to the crowd with a minute to play.

Jones, coming off consecutive conference player of the week awards, is averaging 35 points during USF's winning streak. Yet he was scoreless for more than 11½ minutes of the first half, causing Heath lots of worry.

"I'm pulling out my hair — what I have left," Heath joked. "If we don't get him involved, we're done. Once he got going, he was really hard to stop."

With representatives of a half-dozen NBA teams on hand, the 6-foot-4 junior guard put on quite a show in the second half while 6-11 Georgetown sophomore Greg Monroe shriveled.

In the first half, Monroe had 14 points, eight rebounds and one foul. In the second, he had seven points and was held without a rebound as he fouled out.

"The first half of the game, I like to see how they're playing me," Jones said.

He saw lots of double-teaming and was a bit frustrated. But he and his teammates chipped into the deficit, taking a 46-44 lead on Jones' banked 3-pointer with 10:36 to play.

"He'll say it wasn't lucky, but it was," Heath said.

Jones had some second-half help from Mike Mercer, who scored all of his 12 after halftime, including a dazzling reverse dunk with a second to play.

Georgetown was coming off an 89-77 rout Saturday of then-No. 8 Duke with President Barack Obama in attendance and hosts No. 2 Villanova this Saturday. Monroe cited a lack of focus for the loss but said it wasn't because of the games surrounding it.

"I don't know exactly what happened," Monroe said. "We definitely wasn't looking backward and we definitely wasn't looking forward."

The Hoyas' minds certainly seemed to be elsewhere: They made only 11 of 22 free throws and committed 14 turnovers.

"We didn't control the things we can control, being foul shots and some of those turnovers," coach John Thompson III said in terse postgame comments.

With several weeks left until NCAA Tournament time, the Bulls say they don't want to be left out. "Since we're there, we might as well try and seize the moment," Heath said.

Jones said his coach told his team: " 'If we want to be a tournament team, you have to do special things.' …

"We don't speak negative things in our life, we speak positive things in our life. We're making the tournament."

USF 72

No. 7 Georgetown 64

On a roll

USF is now 11-83 against teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 (2-1 this season) since the program's inception in 1971-72. The victories:

Date Opponent Rank Coach Score
Wednesday Georgetown 7 Stan Heath 72-64
Sunday Pittsburgh 17 Stan Heath 70-61
Feb. 6, '09 Marquette 8 Stan Heath 57-56
Feb. 3, '07 Notre Dame 21 Robert McCullum 69-63
March 4, '06 Georgetown 20 Robert McCullum 63-56
March 10, '05 Cincinnati 21 Robert McCullum 80-68*
March 5, '05 Charlotte 18 Robert McCullum 85-73
Feb. 24, '92 at Tulane 15 Bobby Paschal 81-76
Feb. 15, '92 at Charlotte 22 Bobby Paschal 70-63
Dec. 28, '91 Iowa 23 Bobby Paschal 85-78
Feb. 12, '81 South Alabama 18 Lee Rose 70-52

*Conference USA tournament

USF Bulls stun No. 7 Georgetown Hoyas in huge Big East road victory 02/03/10 [Last modified: Thursday, February 4, 2010 12:37am]
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