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Marquette 66 - South Florida 64

AP Recap

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Travis Diener made another big play with the game on the line. The Marquette star set up Todd Townsend's winning three-point play with 5 seconds to play with a nifty bounce pass in the No. 22 Golden Eagles' 66-64 victory over South Florida on Saturday night. Diener also led Marquette (14-2, 2-1 Conference USA) with 24 points. “I made the bounce pass to Todd and he made the big play,” Diener said. “Give Todd all the credit, he made the play we needed to win the game.” Terrance Leather led South Florida (8-6, 1-2) with 25 points. Marquette, down by 11 at the half, took the lead for the first time on Diener's 3-point that made it 60-59 with 4:11 left. Leather tied it at 62 with 2:42 left, but he missed two free throws with the score still knotted. A free throw by Dameon Mason gave Marquette the lead, but Marlyn Bryant made a layup to give South Florida a 64-63 advantage with 27 seconds left. That set the stage for Townsend, who took a strong pass from Diener before going up for a layup and getting fouled. “We saw something in the last 2 minutes and we felt it was there,” Marquette coach Tom Crean said. “Travis did a great job splitting it and finding what was there.” Townsend and Steve Novak scored 10 points each for the Golden Eagles, who had three starters benched to start the second half. “Travis is always the first option,” Townsend said. “Travis always penetrates. On the play before that, I was wide open, too, and I missed the layup. Travis had the confidence in me to throw it into me again and I was able to finish. “They saw Travis penetrate, so they stepped out on him. But Travis is so unselfish that he gave it to me and this time I was able to finish.” Marquette rebounded from a 78-68 loss at Memphis on Thursday night. “There's no easy games in Conference USA,” Townsend said. None of USF's three league games have been decided by more than two points. “It could have gone either way,” coach Robert McCallum said. “I thought we did so many things right, more than in any game this year. “Unfortunately, Marquette made more plays at the end than we did.”

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