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Golden Eagles top USF, win fifth straight

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Hayward finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead Marquette past South Florida.

It wasn’t easy, or pretty for that matter, but the Marquette Golden Eagles captured their 16th win of the season by defeating South Florida 63-52 Saturday night.

Lazar Hayward led all scorers with 18 points and hit 4-of-6 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

“I’m glad it’s over,” coach Buzz Williams said. “South Florida is extremely talented. We were overmatched at every position … I thought our guys played the scouting report as well as they have all year long.”

South Florida started off the game hot hitting five of its first eight shots en route to a 13-6 lead, but cooled down as the game went on. Star guard Dominique Jones, who was held to 10 points at Notre Dame on Monday, tallied 16 points on 6-for-21 shooting.

Jones was frustrated all night by the Golden Eagles fierce ball pressure, an aspect South Florida coach Stan Heath applauded Marquette.

“They did a good job and they’re a good defensive team,” Heath said. “I thought they were pretty aggressive and they tried to limit his touches and make hard shots and he drank the poison.”

The Bulls shot a frigid 35.5 percent (22-62) from the field, but were able to hang around because of second chance opportunities. They hauled in 14 offensive rebounds, which led to a 12-0 advantage on second chance points. Marquette recorded just four offensive boards.

The Golden Eagles received solid contributions from starting guards Maurice Acker and David Cubillan, who chipped in 14 and 11, respectively.

Hayward pulled down 14 rebounds to record his seventh double-double of the season. Despite being outrebounded by the Bulls 42-30, Hayward pulled down the most crucial rebound with 52 seconds remaining and South Florida was unable to make a field goal the rest of the game.

“It’s just a mindset,” Hayward said about his rebounding ability. “I know I have to be quicker to the ball than a lot of those guys. I have to use my first step quickness and that’s what our team needs most and I’m always willing to do whatever we need.”

With the win the Golden Eagles move to 7-5 in conference, which places them alone in sixth place – a game behind Pittsburgh, Georgetown and West Virginia.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Golden Eagles top USF, win fifth straight”

  1. Ken K on February 13th, 2010 11:09 pm

    Nice review. It captures the feeling of the game. Not easy, or pretty.

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