Here's a recap of the games played by Big East Conference teams for the week ending Sunday, January 1st:
Syracuse improved to 10-2 with an 86-52 rout of Towson. The game was played at sold-out Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre to honor the Orange's senior guard Gerry McNamara, a native of nearby Scranton. McNamara came through for his hometown fans, scoring 20 points and adding 7 assists and 5 steals. Junior SF Demetris Nichols led all scorers with 25 points. Gary Neal was the only Tiger (3-6) player in double figures with 19.
Providence overcame a slow start to top San Diego State 80-65. The Friars needed a 24-9 run to take a 36-34 halftime lead, then pulled away in the final 20 minutes. Providence (6-4) had 5 players in double figures. Senior PG Donnie McGrath, freshman SF Geoff McDermott, and fellow freshman PF Jonathan Kale each tallied 15 points. McDermott added 13 rebounds and Kale chipped in with 12. The Aztecs, who fell to 6-5, were led by junior SG Brandon Heath's game-high 22 points.
Friars get must
In the opening round of the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden, St. John's drubbed Columbia 60-39. Freshman forward Anthony Mason Jr. paced the Red Storm (6-4) with a career-high 15 points. Sophomore guard Eugene Lawrence added 12 points and 8 assists. The game was never in doubt, as St. John's raced off to a 35-18 lead at intermission. Columbia's (6-4) leading scorers were sophomore PF John Baumann and fellow sophomore SG Justin Armstrong, each with 8 points.
Georgetown advanced to the finals of the Sun Bowl tournament with a 61-45 win over Colgate. Sophomore center Roy Hibbert led the Hoyas (7-2) with 18 points, including a perfect 8-8 from the field. Leading by only 38-37 with 12 minutes remaining, Georgetown went on a l2-0 run to finally put away the Red Raiders (5-7). Guard Kyle Roemer topped Colgate with 11 points.
#2 Connecticut remained undefeated at 10-0 with an 85-52 rout of Stony Brook. The Huskies dominated inside, with senior center Hilton Armstrong leading the way with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and a career-high 8 blocked shots. Senior PF Ed Nelson contributed 7 points and 11 boards. UConn's top scorers were reserves. Senior SG Rashad Anderson tallied 14 points and freshman PF Jeff Adrien added 13. The Seahawks (0-8) were paced by junior PG Mitchell Beauford's 14 points.
#10 Louisville ran their record to 10-1 with an 89-66 thumping of Fairleigh Dickinson. Senior PG Taquan Dean had a big game for the Cardinals with 19 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Junior SG Brandon Jenkins added 17 points and sophomore center David Padgett had 16 as Louisville took 70 shots, making 30 (42.9%). Junior center Andrea Crosariol led the Knights (5-6) with a game-high 21 points and 6 boards.
Notre Dame won their 6th straight, pounding Fordham 85-49. The Irish (9-2) had five players in double figures, led by senior PG Chris Quinn with 14 points. Quinn added 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Freshman PF Luke Zeller contributed 11 points and 9 boards. Notre Dame's defense held the Rams (3-8) to just 28.4% shooting (19-64). Senior guard Jermaine Anderson topped Fordham with 14 points.
Notre Dame presses on
Pittsburgh (10-0) passed their first big road test, overcoming South Carolina 58-51. The first half was a sloppy affair, ending with the Panthers trailing 22-20. Freshman SF Sam Young sparked a 2nd half comeback for Pittsburgh, finishing with a career-high 16 points and 7 rebounds. Senior SG Carl Krauser added 15 points and junior center Aaron Gray pulled down 13 rebounds. The Panthers overcame poor shooting (18-47) by going 17-21 from the free throw line, including 11-12 down the stretch. Pittsburgh also dominated the glass, out-rebounding the Gamecocks 33-20. Junior PG Tre Kelley scored a game-high 18 points for South Carolina (7-4).
Cincinnati recorded their 7th consecutive win, 75-65 over Miami (Ohio). The Bearcats (10-2) had to overcome a 35-30 deficit at intermission. Freshman Devan Downey tallied 19 points for Cincinnati and senior SG Jihad Muhammad came off the bench to add 15 points. Senior guard William Hatcher led all scorers with 26 for the Red Hawks, who fell to 4-5.
South Florida was upset 75-68 at home in overtime by Bethune-Cookman. The Bulls held a 56-45 lead before the Wildcats tied the game at 59 with a late 14-3 run. The win was the first ever for Bethune-Cookman over USF in 13 tries. Senior PG Antonio Webb topped the Wildcats (4-6) with a game-high 30 points, including 9 in overtime. Junior SF Sam Barber added 17 points and 9 rebounds. Senior guard James Holmes led the Bulls (6-6) with 22 points and senior center Solomon Jones added 15 points and 7 rebounds before fouling out with 2:31 remaining in regulation.
In the finals of the Holiday Classic at Madison Square Garden, St. John's (7-4) edged Massachusetts 51-49. Junior forward Aaron Spears' lay-up with 32 seconds left provided the margin of victory for the Red Storm. Spears also blocked a final shot by UMass guard Chris Lowe to preserve the win. Junior center Lamont Hamilton added 12 points for St. John's, who seemed in control of the game with a 27-14 lead at the half as the Minutemen shot only 5-27 from the field. However, Massachusetts rallied in the 2nd half to tie the game at 49 before Spears hit the game winning shot. Junior SF Stephane Lasme topped the Minutemen with 15 points.
Georgetown won the Sun Bowl Tournament, 76-64 over host school UTEP. The Hoyas (8-2) relied on their 3 point shooting for the victory, making a total of 12. Senior SG Darrel Owens led Georgetown with a game-high 21 points, including a perfect 5-5 from long range. Senior forward Brandon Bowman added 15 points and 9 rebounds. Senior PF John Tofi topped the Miners (7-3) with 20 points and 9 boards.
Seton Hall destroyed Morgan State 93-46. The Pirates (7-3) raced to a 52-19 lead at the half and never looked back. Four players finished in double figures for Seton Hall, topped by senior PG Donald Copeland with 15 points. Senior center Kelly Whitney added 13 points and 9 rebounds, as the Pirates owned the boards with a 42-19 margin. The Bears, who dropped to 0-10, were led by freshman guard Rogers Barnes with 16 points.
#2 Connecticut scored 65 second half points, defeating Quinnipiac 111-75. Freshman PG Craig Austrie broke the school's record for freshmen with 14 assists. The previous record of 13 was held by Marcus Willaims, the player Austrie replaced. This was Williams' final game on suspension, but he may have a difficult time in regaining his starting job. Huskies (11-0) senior center Hilton Armstrong led all scorers with a career-high 26 points along with 10 rebounds. Senior SG Rashad Anderson added 20 points. For the Bobcats (5-5), junior SG John Winchester scored 25 points and junior forward Chris Wehye added 16 plus 16 rebounds.
UConn continues to
#25 West Virginia overcame a late Canisius rally to top the Golden Griffins 80-68. Senior center Kevin Pittsnogle led the way for the Mountaineers with a career-high 34 points along with 7 rebounds. Senior SF Mike Gansey added 15 points and junior PF Frank Young chipped in with 13. West Virginia (8-3) led 41-21 at intermission and extended their lead in the 2nd half to 28 points. A late 29-8 spurt by Canisius (1-8) brought them within 6 points with 41 seconds left, but the Mountaineers then went 6-6 from the free throw line to seal the victory. Junior SG Chuck Harris topped Canisius with 16 points.
Notre Dame survived a late scare to edge Wofford 74-71. Senior center Torin Francis was fouled as he rebounded a missed layup by Chris Quinn with 12.6 seconds left and converted both free throws to give the Irish their final margin. Terriers' senior forward Howard Wilkerson then missed a desperation 3 pointer at the buzzer. For Notre Dame (9-2), junior guard Russell Carter led the scoring parade with a career-high 16 points. Francis added 12 points along with 11 rebounds. Wilkerson led all scorers with 27 points and added 10 rebounds for Wofford, now 4-8.
Cincinnati improved to 11-2 with a 105-69 rout of North Carolina A&T. Senior PF Eric Hicks had a huge game for the Bearcats, with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 blocked shots. Four other Cincinnati players were in double figures, including senior SF James White with 23 and freshman PG Devan Downey with 13 along with 10 assists. The Aggies (0-10) were led by senior SG Michael Hayes with 14 points.
Syracuse notched their 8th straight win, 78-66 over Kent State. Junior PF Terrence Roberts led the way for the 11-2 Orange with a game-high 21 points and 7 rebounds. Freshman PG Eric Devendorf added 16 points and junior SG Louie McCroiskey had 14. Senior SG Gerry McNamara tied his career high with 12 assists along with 10 points. Senior PG DeAndre Hayes tallied 17 points for the Golden Flashes, who fell to 6-5.
South Florida (6-7) dropped a 59-47 decision at home to UAB. The Bulls led 10-2 in the early minutes of the game, but a 29-7 run put the Blazers ahead 31-17 at intermission. South Florida drew within five by scoring the first nine points of the 2nd half before UAB pulled away. Senior SF Demario Eddings and freshman PF Lawrence Kinnard each scored 13 points to lead UAB (8-3). For the Bulls, senior guard James Holmes had a game-high 18 points and senior center Solomon Jones had 10 points and 15 rebounds.
Marquette tuned up for the start of Big East play with an 88-40 rout of Division 2 Lewis. Freshman PG Dominic James tied his career high with 22 points to lead the Golden Eagles. Senior forward Steve Novak added 14 points. Stephen Bolt topped Lewis with 9 points.
#3 Villanova remained perfect at 9-0 with a 75-53 win over city rival Temple in the Palestra. Three of the Wildcats' four starting guards were in double figures, led by senior Allen Ray's game-high 20 points. Junior Mike Nardi added 17 and sophomore Kyle Lowry chipped in with 15. Villanova's leading scorer, senior guard Randy Foye, was held to just 9 points on 4-13 shooting. However, Foye contributed game-high totals in rebounds with 10 and assists with 9. For the Owls (6-4), senior SG Mardy Collins had 18 points and sophomore SF Mark Tyndale added 14.
#10 Louisville (11-1) overcame a 2nd half Miami rally to win the Orange Bowl Classic 58-43. The Hurricanes trailed 34-24 at intermission, but battled back to grab a 39-38 lead with 7:27 left. The Cardinals then turned up their defense, shutting out Miami for the next 6:03. Louisville's sophomore PF Juan Palacios led all scorers with 19 points. Senior PG Taquan Dean added 13 points and sophomore center David Padgett contributed 11 points and 13 rebounds. Junior guard Robert Hite was the leading scorer for Miami (7-6) with 15 points, as the Canes shot only 25% (13-52) from the field.
Pittsburgh faced their first ranked opponent of the year, and came away with a 73-64 win over #24 Wisconsin. Bench scoring was the difference, as the Panthers' (11-0) reserves outscored the Badgers bench by a 35-16 margin. All but two of those 35 points came from freshmen; SF Sam Young with a career-high tying 16, PG Levance Fields with 9, and PF Tyrell Biggs 8. Senior SG Carl Krauser was the high man for Pittsburgh with 22 points. Wisconsin (10-2) had just one player in double figures, junior SF Alando Tucker with a game-high 25 along with 7 rebounds.
Seton Hall scored an impressive 73-59 win over Iona. The Pirates were paced by senior center Kelly Whitney, who had a game-high 22 points. Serior PG Donald Copeland added 17 points while junior center Grant Billmeier came off the bench to contribute 11. The Gaels (7-2) were led by senior guards Steve Burtt Jr. and Ricky Soliver, who scored 18 and 17 points respectively.
DePaul improved to 7-4 with a 72-60 win over Florida International. The Blue Demons used a 15-4 run in the 2nd half run to snap a 42 all tie. Junior SG Sammy Mejia led DePaul with 23 points and 8 rebounds. Freshman PG Draelon Burns added 15 points while fellow freshman forward Wilson Chandler contributed 12 points and 12 boards. The Golden Panthers (3-9) were paced by junior guard Johwen Villegas, who scored a game-high 24 points.
Weekend patsy just
what doctor ordered
Rutgers struggled past Princeton 54-44. As usual, junior SG Quincy Douby led the Scarlet Knights (10-3) with 23 points. Junior PG Marquis Webb was the only other Rutgers player in double figures with 10. Freshman SF Noah Savage topped the Tigers (2-9) with 17 points. Free throws were the difference in the game. Princeton made just 4 trips to the free throw line, converting 3. On the other hand, Rutgers was 18-28 from the charity stripe.
No games. Happy New Year's!
Big East News & Notes
St. John's leading scorer, junior PG Darryl Hill, is on the shelf with a swollen left knee. His return date is uncertain. Big East Conference play finally opens this week, with the feature game sending #3 Villanova to Louisville on Thursday night.
This Week's Schedule:
Loyola (Md.) @ Providence
Connecticut @ Marquette
DePaul @ Cincinnati, Notre Dame @ Pittsburgh, St. John's @ Seton Hall, UTEP @ Syracuse
Providence @ Georgetown, Villanova @ Louisville, West Virginia @ South Florida
Cincinnati @ Marquette, LSU @ Connecticut, Notre Dame @ DePaul, Louisville @ Providence, Seton Hall @ Rutgers
Georgetown @ St. John's, South Florida @ Syracuse, West Virginia @ Villanova