Marquette Wins Fifth Straight With 67-47 Victory Over USF
Jan. 24, 2012
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Darius Johnson-Odom scored 17 points to help No. 17 Marquette beat South Florida 67-47 on Tuesday night.
Toarlyn Fitzpatrick had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls (12-9, 5-3), who had a setback in what has otherwise been a hot start in the Big East. South Florida had won three straight coming into Tuesday's game, including a victory at DePaul on Sunday.
It was the 100th career victory for Marquette coach Buzz Williams.
Marquette went on a 7-0 run at the end of the first half to take a 33-21 lead.
The Golden Eagles put together another surge coming out of halftime, and Johnson-Odom's 3-pointer gave Marquette a 39-22 lead with 18:49 left in the game.
Crowder hit a 3 at the 15:13 mark, South Florida threw the ball out of bounds on their next possession and Johnson-Odom scored on a driving layup, giving the Golden Eagles a 20-point lead.
South Florida came into Tuesday's game as one of the Big East's better defensive teams, allowing a league-low 57.9 points per game in conference play. But the Bulls didn't have the offensive fireworks needed to mount a comeback.
It was Marquette's defense that stood out Tuesday night, as the Golden Eagles forced 22 turnovers while committing only five. Marquette outscored South Florida 20-3 off turnovers.
The 6-foot-8, 290-pound Gardner continued his impressive offensive play for a Marquette team that isn't used to outmuscling opponents inside -- especially in the Big East.
The Golden Eagles made a point to get Gardner involved right away, getting the ball to him on virtually every possession early. Gardner scored the Golden Eagles' first six points.
The Golden Eagles then got one final fastbreak opportunity at the end of the half, and Johnson-Odom missed a fast-break layup -- but Wilson went high in the air to slam it home with both hands, giving Marquette a 33-21 lead.
Marquette had a pronounced advantage at the free throw line in the first half, hitting 7 of 11 while South Florida shot two and hit one.