LEXINGTON, KY - DECEMBER 31: Rick Pitino the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals reacts to a foul charged to his team during 69-62 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena on December 31, 2011 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
In the trio of games involving Big East teams on Saturday, the higher ranked team (or simply the ranked team) won every game. The No. 4 Louisville Cardinals lost their rivalry game with the No. 3 Kentucky Wildcats on New Year's Eve while the No. 9 Connecticut Huskies and the No. 12 Georgetown Hoyas won their Big East games.
No. 3 Kentucky 69, No. 4 Louisville 62: Louisville has now lost their second game this week after starting this season 12-0. There were a ton of fouls called in this contest. Kentucky won the free throw battle easily with 43 attempts to Louisville's 27. The large advantage in free throws, which the Wildcats capitalized on by making 74.4%, helped them overcome a 20 turnover game in which they only shot 29.8% from the field. Kentucky led 31-16 with only 5:09 to play in the first half but saw their lead dwindle to three at the half. The Cardinals just couldn't get over the hump in the second half after tying the game at 40. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist led the way for Kentucky with 24 points and 19 rebounds. Anthony Davis had 10 rebounds and 6 blocks but made his living at the free throw line, making 12-13, to get to 18 points for Kentucky. With many of the Cards in foul trouble, Russ Smith carried the load and was the only Louisville player to reach double figures in scoring. Smith finished with a game-high 30 points and 10 of Louisville's 20 field goal makes. For more postgame coverage from the Louisville side, visit Card Chronicle or SB Nation Indiana. For more postgame Kentucky coverage, visit A Sea of Blue.
No. 9 UConn 83, St. John's 69: The UConn Huskies have now won 7 games in a row. UConn used a 13-4 opening run to build a 23-point lead at halftime. The Red Storm cut into the lead in the second half but never threatened before UConn cruised to the finish line. The Huskies shot 60.4% from the field for the game (9-16 from behind the arc) compared to 36.2% from the field for St. John's (4-23 from three-point range). The Huskies were led by a double-double from Andre Drummond (16 points, 11 rebounds). Shabazz Napier had 17 points and 9 assists. Jeremy Lamb finished with 15 points, 3 blocks, 3 rebounds for UConn. D`Angelo Harrison led the Red Storm with 17 points. God`sgift Achiuwa and Maurice Harkless chipped in 16 points for St. John's. For more postgame UConn coverage, visit The UConn Blog. For more St. John's postgame coverage, visit Rumble In The Garden.
No. 12 Georgetown 49, Providence 40: If you like offense, this was not your game. The Providence Friars shot 24.5% from the field and the Hoyas shot 30%. The Hoyas jumped on the Friars early and built at 17-4 lead through the first 10 minutes. Providence started to make some shots in the final 10 minutes of the first half but trailed 27-19 at the half. After halftime, the Friars went on a 16-8 run to tie the game at 35 with 8:01 to play. Georgetown responded with a 14-5 run to close the game. Providence didn't score in the final 4:41 of the game. LaDontae Henton led Providence with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Jason Clark had 16 points to lead Georgetown. Henry Sims only shot 2-13 from the floor but finished with 11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 assists and a steal for the Hoyas. Georgetown is on a 10-game win streak. For more post game Georgetown coverage, visit Casual Hoya.
There are four Big East games on the schedule on Sunday: Rutgers at South Florida (12 p.m., TV: ESPN3); Villanova (1 p.m., ESPNU); No. 1 Syracuse at DePaul (5 p.m., TV: ESPN3); Cincinnati at No. 22 Pittsburgh (7 p.m., TV: ESPN3).