Stifling first-half defense and 17 points from freshman guard Anthony Collins led the South Florida Bulls to a 56-47 win over the Villanova Wildcats in the second round of the 2012 Big East Tournament.
The Wildcats entered Wednesday averaging 71 points per game, which ranked fifth in the Big East. The Bulls' defense limited Villanova to just 17 first-half points as the Wildcats were ice cold from the floor all night, shooting just 17-of-51 from the field, and three-of-16 from beyond the arc, in the loss.
Junior guard Maalik Wayns had a team-high 17.9 points per game average entering the night and had a 31.25 shooting percentage from three-point land on the season. On Wednesday night, Wayns was three-of-14 from the floor, missing all seven of his three-point attempts and finishing with just nine points. Junior forward-center Mouphtaou Yarou led the Wildcats with 20 points on eight-of-13 shooting.
In addition to Collins' 17 points, the Bulls got 13 points from forward Victor Rudd., who was also tied for the team-high with six rebounds. Reserve forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick helped nail down the win with three rebounds and four of his six free throws in the final minute.
With the win, the Bulls improve to 20-12 on the season (12-6 in the Big East) and will face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the No. 3 seed in the Big East Tournament, in the nightcap of the quarterfinal round. The Fighting Irish won their regular season meeting, 60-49 in South Bend Jan. 10. Tip-off is tentatively scheduled for 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
For complete coverage of the 2012 Big East Tournament, stay tuned to this StoryStream or visit SB Nation's dedicated NCAA basketball hub. For more on all the teams in the Big East tournament, visit Big East Coast Bias and SB Nation New York. For news and info on the Villanova Wildcats, head to The Nova Blog. For updates on the South Florida Bulls, check out Voodoo Five.