The DePaul Blue Demons and the South Florida Bulls won Big East conference games on the same day on Thursday. That has never happened since the two schools joined the league for the 2005-2006 season. DePaul won a conference game at home for the first time in 17 tries when they defeated the free falling Pittsburgh Panthers. South Florida picked up the very rare road win when they took out the Villanova Wildcats at The Pavillion. The Bulls are now 7-46 (.132) all-time in Big East road games. Pitt and Villanova are now 0-3 in Big East play this season.
DePaul 84, Pitt 81: The Pitt Panthers have now lost four in a row under Jamie Dixon for the first time. DePaul stormed the court after the rare Big East win (just their third in four seasons). So how did the big win happen? Pitt blew a 7-point halftime lead which was extended to 12 points shortly after halftime. The Blue Demons also had a 7-0 run over the last 10 seconds of the game to hold off Pitt. A pair of Cleveland Melvin free throws gave DePaul the lead at 59-58 with 8:48 to play. Pitt had an 81-77 lead with 17 seconds to play and then had a mental meltdown. Brandon Young was allowed to get to the basket for a layup. Pitt missed a pair of free throws. Young again got to the basket, made the shot and was fouled with a second left. He gave DePaul the 82-81 lead when he made his free throw. Young scored a game-high 26 and Melvin added 20 points. Talib Zanna led Pitt with 16 points. Lamar Patterson just missed a double-double with 10 points and 9 rebounds for the Panthers. For more postgame DePaul coverage, visit SB Nation Chicago. For more postgame Pitt coverage, visit Cardiac Hill.
South Florida 74, Villanova 57: The Bulls held a slim two-point lead at halftime, 27-25. Villanova had only lost at The Pavilion once in their last 53 games. The graphic flashed on the screen as the teams jogged into the locker room: South Florida is only 6-46 all-time in Big East road games. South Florida came out of the locker room determined to add a win to that total and used a 13-4 to give themselves a lead the Wildcats couldn't overcome. Villanova did cut the lead to 48-45 with 9:03 to play but came no closer than that when the Bulls went on a 9-2 run. What happened? USF owned the boards 38-26. The Bulls made 20-22 free throw attempts. Outside of Maalik Wayns who shot 3-5 from behind the arc, Villanova as a team used questionable judgment on their three-point attempts and only made 4-20. Jawanza Poland led the way for South Florida with 20 points in 27 minutes. Blake Nash and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick also reached double figures in scoring for the Bulls. Maalik Wayns led Villanova with 17 points. JayVaughn Pinkston was the only other player to reach double figures in scoring for the Wildcats. For more postgame South Florida coverage, visit Voodoo Five. For more Villanova postgame coverage, visit The Nova Blog.
There are no Big East basketball games on the schedule for Friday. League play will resume with six games on Saturday.