BASKETBALL: Big East Weekly Report

Here's a recap of the games played by Big East Conference teams for the week ending Sunday, December 18th:



Rutgers destroyed Division II St. Thomas Aquinas College, 94-56.  The Scarlet Knights only led 36-24 at intermission, but went on a 17-4 run to open the 2nd half.  Junior SG Quincy Douby paced Rutgers with 27 points, including 5 three pointers.  Jaron Griffin added 13 points.  The win gives the Scarlet Knights a 7-2 record.  Willis Kettrell was the leading scorer for the Spartans (4-4) with 12 points.




#3 Villanova survived a late run by Penn, winning 62-55 at the Palestra.  The Wildcats let 32-23 at the half, but the Quakers fought back and closed to within four points at 55-51 with just under two minutes left before Villanova was able to put the game away.   The Wildcats were as usual led by their excellent senior guard tandem of Allan Ray and Randy Foye, who scored 19 and 16 points respectively.  Friedrich Ebede was the leading scorer for Penn with 13 points and 10 rebounds.  Villanova improved to 7-0, while Penn fell to 3-4.


#4 Louisville pulled away in the final 20 minutes to rout Chicago State 78-54.  The Cardinals only led by three, 32-29, at the half as star sophomore forward Juan Palacios was forced from the game with an injury to his right ankle.  Senior guard Taquan Dean led the way for Louisville with 21 points and 8 rebounds.  Center David Padgett added 12 points and 8 boards.  Guard David Holston led the Cougars with 17 points.  The unbeaten Cardinals are now 6-0, while Chicago State dropped to 1-6.


DePaul recorded a huge road win over #16 Wake Forest, 84-81.  Junior Sammy Mejia paced the Blue Demons with 24 points and 7 rebounds.  Mejia's basket with 12 seconds left gave DePaul an 82-78 lead and iced the win.  Sophomore guard Draelon Burns added 22 points along with 4 assists.  Senior Center Eric Williams tallied 24 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in a losing cause for the Demon Deacons.  The victory improved DePaul's record to5-3, while Wake Forest fell to 7-2.




Cincinnati broke open a close game in the 2nd half to crush Ohio U. 86-58.  The Bearcats only led 39-38 after the first twenty minutes, but outscored the Bobcats 47-20 in the 2nd half.  Freshman PG Devan Downey led Cincinnati with a career-high 24 points.   Junior forward Sonny Troutman led Ohio U. with 17 points.  Cincinnati's win leaves them with a 5-2 record, while Ohio suffered their initial loss after winning their first four games.




Rutgers improved to 8-2 with a 91-56 win over Maine.  Junior SG Quincy Douby led the Scarlet Knights with 22 points.  Junior PG Marquis Webb and sophomore PF Ollie Bailey each chipped in with 11 points.  Phil Bofia scored a career-high 15 points for Maine, who fell to 3-7.


South Florida rallied in the 2nd half to pound Florida Atlantic 62-44.  The Bulls trailed 27-25 at intermission, but senior center Solomon Jones led the comeback for USF with 17 points, 15 rebounds, and 6 blocked shots.  USF improved to 5-3.  Forward Rodney Webb led Florida Atlantic (3-3) with 11 points and 11 boards.






#23 Kentucky blasted #4 Louisville 73-61 at Rupp Arena.  Sophomore PG Rajon Rondo had a huge game for the Wildcats, scoring a career-high 25 points and adding 7 assists.  Junior forward Sheray Thomas was the only other Kentucky player in double figures with 11.  Sophomore forward Juan Palacios led the Cardinals with 15 points and 7 rebounds.  The win was the 350th of coach Tubby Smith's career, and improved Kentucky's record to 7-3.  Louisville's loss leaves them with a 6-1 mark.


Marquette defeated San Francisco, as senior forward Steve Nokak connected for 22 points, including 6 three pointers.  Guard Jerel McNeal added 15 points for the Golden Eagles.  Marquette is now 7-3.  Sophomore Center Jason Carter led the Dons (4-6) with 17 points.


At Madison Square Garden, Marist upset St. John's 56-53.  It was Marist's first ever win over the Red Storm.  Junior guard Will Whittington scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Red Foxes, including two key free throws with 24 seconds left providing the final margin of victory.  St. John's missed two desperation 3 point shots on their last possession.  Anthony Mason Jr. and Darryl Hill led the Red Storm with 11 points each.  St. John's fell to 5-3, while Marist is now 3-4.


Pittsburgh improved to 8-0 with a 63-52 win over Vermont.  Senior guard Carl Krauser led the Panthers with 21 points and 5 assists.  Junior center Aaron Gray had his sixth "double-double" of the young season with 11 points and 12 rebounds.  Kyle Cieplicki and Martin Klimes each tallied 12 for the Catamounts, who fell to 3-5.


Cincinnati crushed Tennessee Tech 105-62.  The Bearcats were paced by a trio of seniors;  PF Ernie Hicks scored 19 points and added 7 rebounds, SF James White and SG Jihad Mohammad added 19 and 18 points respectively.  Freshman PG Devan Downey also contributed in a big way with 16 points, 9 assists, and 7 boards.  The victory gives Cincinnati a 6-2 mark.  Sophomore guard Anthony Fisher led the Golden  Eagles (6-2) with 16 points.   


Four days after pulling a shocking road win over #16 Wake Forest, DePaul was ambushed 87-43 by Old Dominion.  The Blue Demons only trailed 29-22 at the half, but were outscored by an amazing 58-21 margin in the final twenty minutes.  Junior forward Arnaud Dahi and junior guard Drew Williamson each had 18 for the Monarchs.  DePaul shot only 24.1% from the field (14-58).  Their leading scorer was guard Draelon Burns with just 8 points.  The Blue Demons fell to 5-4, while Old Dominion is now 7-2.


Rutgers coasted to their 3rd easy win of the week, 63-45 over South Carolina State.  Junior SG Quincy Douby once again led the Scarlet Knights with 21 points.  Sophomore PF Ollie Bailey added 18 along with 9 rebounds.  The victory leaves Rutgers with a 9-2 record.  The Bulldogs, who were paced by junior guard Brian Mason's 13 points, fell to 2-6.


Georgetown improved to 5-2 with an easy 70-50 win over Stetson.  The Hoyas opened the game with a 15-0 run and coasted the rest of the way.  Sophomore center Ray Hibbert led Georgetown with 17 points and 10 rebounds.  Brandon Bowman and Mark Egerson each tallied 12 points.  Senior guard Anthony Register topped the Hatters (0-8) with 17.




#3 Connecticut remained undefeated at 8-0 by throttling New Hampshire 86-44, behind sophomore SF Rudy Gay's 22 points.  Freshman Marcus Johnson, making his first career start, added 20.  The Huskies opened up a 42-15 lead at intermission and were on cruise control in the 2nd half against the overmatched Wildcats.  Junior forward Blagoj Janev accounted for more than half of New Hampshire's (2-8) points with 24. 


Notre Dame edged IPFW 65-63.  The Irish survived a late run by the Mastadons, who scored the game's final 7 points but could not manage to get another shot off before the final buzzer sounded.  Senior center Torin Francis had a huge game for Notre Dame, with 24 points and 11 rebounds.  Junior SG Colin Falls added 15 points.  Free throw shooting was crucial for Notre Dame (5-2), as they converted 17 of 19.  The Irish were without senior PG Chris Quinn, who missed the game with an ankle bruise.  Forward DeWitt Scott led IPFW (2-7) with 14 points.


Senior SG Gerry McNamara tossed in 38 points to lead Syracuse past Davidson 90-80.  The Orange really depended on their 3 point shooting for the victory, connecting on 14 of 26.  Eight of the fourteen came from McNamara.  Junior SF Demetris Nichols added a career-high 26 points, as Syracuse improved to 8-2.  Davidson (6-3) was paced by senior forward Ian Johnson's 23 points


It must have seemed like the Brick Throwers Convention at Continental Airlines Arena as Northwestern squeaked past Seton Hall 44-42.  The winning basket came on a driving lay-up by senior guard Mohamad Hachad with just 3.3 seconds left.  Hachad's basket came after a 3 pointer by the Pirates' Stan Gaines tied the game at 42 with 20 seconds remaining.  Senior guard Donald Copeland, who missed a 3 point shot at the buzzer, led Seton Hall (6-3) with 14 points.  Senior PF Vedran Vukusic had a game-high 18 for the Wildcats, now 5-4.  Northwestern won despite shooting just 30.8% (16-52) from the field.  The Pirates were even worse, making just 12 of 51 shots (23.5%).


Big East News & Notes:


Freshman forward DeAndre Coleman left Cincinnati for "personal reasons."  Speculation persists that Cincinnati's president Nancy Zimpher will replace interim head coach Andy Kennedy after this season.  Kennedy was the top assistant of former head coach Bob Huggins.  The most prominent name being thrown around as Kennedy's possible successor is Wake Forest's Skip Prosser, who had a highly successful run in the Queen City while at Xavier.


This Week's Schedule:  




Arkansas-Monticello @ Cincinnati, Oakland @ Marquette




Middle Tennessee @ Louisville, Northeastern @ Providence




DePaul @ California, Savannah State @ Georgetown, Niagara @ Notre Dame, Coppin State @ Pittsburgh, St. John's @ Duke, Illinois-Chicago @ Syracuse




Dayton @ Cincinnati, Delaware State @ Marquette, Yale @ Providence, Charlotte @ Rutgers, Iowa State @ South Florida, La Salle @ Villanova, West Virginia @ Oklahoma




Cincinnati @ LSU, Morehead State @ Connecticut, Columbia @ Notre Dame




Detroit @ Louisville












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