Big East Basketball Wrap-Up: No. 1 Syracuse, No. 4 Louisville Among Ranked Team Winners On Saturday

LOUISVILLE, KY - DECEMBER 17: Russ Smith #2 of the Louisville Cardinals shoots the ball during the game against the Memphis Tigers at KFC YUM! Center on December 17, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Big East went 10-2 on Saturday for the second consecutive week. Cincinnati, No. 17 Georgetown, Rutgers, St. John's and West Virginia began the day with wins. Then, the No. 4 Louisville Cardinals and No. 11 Marquette Golden Eagles won before the Notre Dame Fighting Irish fell. The No. 1 Syracuse Orange, No. 14 Pittsburgh Panthers and DePaul Blue Demons got wins on Saturday while the Villanova Wildcats lost the Holy War to Saint Joseph's.

No. 1 Syracuse 88, NC State 72: After trailing, 29-23, on the road at NC State in the first half, the Orange put together a 23-0 run. NC State trailed 47-33 at the break. The Wolfpack went on a 13-1 run in the second half and were able to tie the game at 50. Syracuse made another run (11-2) to make the score 74-63 which put the game away with 6:47 remaining. Dion Waiters led Syracuse with 22 points on 9-14 shooting. Kris Joseph scored 21 for the Orange. C.J. Williams paced NC State with 25 points on 9-13 shooting (3-5 from behind the arc) to lead all scorers.

No. 4 Louisville 95, Memphis 87: The rivalry game that should be a Big East conference game, if Rick Pitino is giving the advice, was physical and intense. Yet, even though unranked Memphis gave it all they had, Louisville won their 10th game this season and at 10-0 are off to their best start since 1996-97. The Cardinals held a 10-point edge at halftime but got all they wanted in the second half from Memphis which rallied to take the lead briefly. Free throwing hurt the Tigers once again. Memphis shot 29-43 from the free throw line while Louisville shot 32-40. Memphis' Will Barton was very impressive and had 28 points and 16 rebounds and shot 14-19 from the free throw line. Russ Smith led Louisville with 24 points and also had 7 steals, 3 assists and 2 rebounds. Gorgui Dieng had a double-double for the Cardinals with 14 points and 14 rebounds to go with 6 blocks, 2 steals and an assist.

No. 11 Marquette 93, Northern Colorado 72: Just minutes before the game, the Golden Eagles suspended leading scorer Darius Johnson-Odom for violating team rules. Freshman Todd Mayo started in his place and responded with 22 points to lead Marquette in a win. Jae Crowder pitched in with 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Golden Eagles. Marquette took the game over early. Sparked by Tate Unruh's career-high 25 points, Northern Colorado used a 15-3 run to cut the lead to nine in the second half but couldn't get any closer. Johnson-Odom will be back for Monday's game against LSU.

No. 14 Pittsburgh 69, South Carolina State 55: The Bulldogs gave Pittsburgh a test through the first half and into the second half until the Panthers responded with a 13-3 run to make the score 48-37. South Carolina State never sniffed the lead again. Brandon Riley and Khalif Toombs were formidable for the Bulldogs scoring 21 and 16 points, respectively. The pair shot 7-9 from three-point range for the game. Ashton Gibbs only hit 2 of his 12 three-point attempts for Pitt but finished with 14 points. Talib Zanna had a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Lamar Patterson led Pitt with 16 points.

No. 20 Indiana 69, Notre Dame 58: Notre Dame made a game out of it in the first half but was worn down inside over the course of the game by unbeaten Indiana. Cody Zeller led the Hoosiers with 21 points. He also had eight rebounds to help Indiana beat Notre Dame on the glass. Eric Atkins led Notre Dame with 15 points. The Hoosiers' strong defense erased a Notre Dame 15-6 first half lead and held the Irish without a basket for over 16 minutes. The win was the first for Indiana against Notre Dame since 2003.

DePaul 81, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 62: The Blue Demons rolled this game. DePaul used a 22-5 run in the first half to take a 48-28 lead into the second half where they led by as many as 27 points. At 8-3, DePaul is off to its best start since 2004-05. Brandon Young led DePaul with 19 points. Jeremiah Kelly, Cleveland Melvin and Jamee Crockett also scored in double figures for the Blue Demons.

Saint Joseph's 74, Villanova 58: The latest edition of the Holy War went to Saint Joseph's. The Hawks only led 30-27 at halftime. However, they went on a run to start the second half and extended the lead to 44-31. Villanova made a run to cut the lead to 7. Saint Joseph's extended the lead back to 13 and pushed away from a cold shooting Villanova squad. Maalik Wayns led the Wildcats with 19 points on 7-18 shooting. The rest of the team shot just 14-45. Nobody else scored in double figures for Villanova. The Hawks shot 50.8% as a team and were led by Langston Galloway's 20 points.

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