While the SEC was providing another one-sided affair on the football field in the BCS Championship Game, the Big East had two very competitive basketball games going on. Ultimately, the Cincinnati Bearcats defeated the No. 11 Georgetown Hoyas and the No. 16 Connecticut Huskies held off the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Cincinnati 68, No. 11 Georgetown 64: The Hoyas only fell two spots in the polls from last week. After their loss to Cincinnati, they should see another drop. Georgetown shot 59.1% from the field and hit 6-10 from behind the arc? How did the loss happen? Georgetown's Hollis Thompson finished the first half 4-4 from behind the arc and had 14 points. He took one shot in the second half and missed. Cincinnati's defense forced the Hoyas in 17 turnovers which aided the comeback. A late 7-0 Bearcat run broke a 62-62 tie. Cincinnati isn't known as a great free throw shooting team. Last night was an exception as Cincy hit 18-22 from the charity stripe. In the final 2:12 of the game, the Bearcats were 8-8 from the line. Sean Kilpatrick led Cincinnati with a career-high 27 points. Dion Dixon pitched in 22 points for the Bearcats. Both players had four steals. Thompson was tied for the Hoyas' scoring lead with Jason Clark.
No. 16 UConn 64, West Virginia 57: West Virginia led 33-28 at the halftime break. Kevin Jones, the Big East's leading scorer and rebounder, was shooting well and had 13 points. UConn was shooting even better but couldn't stop turning the ball over. What UConn needed was something to focus them. The spark came after a Jim Calhoun technical foul. The head coach was whistled for arguing a call at the 11:55 mark. West Virginia extended their lead to 46-36 with 11:28 to play. The Huskies then put the clamps on the Mountaineers' offense and used a 17-3 run to gain the lead. West Virginia didn't go away but couldn't hit their shots down the stretch. Andre Drummond had a big game for UConn with 20 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals. Jeremy Lamb led the Huskies with 25 points, 17 of which came in the second half. Jones finished with 22 points to lead West Virginia. Deniz Kilicli was the only other Mountaineer in double figures with 12 points.
There are three Big East games on the schedule tonight: No. 15 Louisville at Providence (7 p.m., TV: ESPN2); South Florida at Notre Dame (7 p.m., TV: ESPN3); DePaul at Seton Hall (7 p.m., TV: ESPN3).