PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 11: Scoop Jardine #11 and Dion Waiters #3 of the Syracuse Orange celebrate a play against the Villanova Wildcats at the Wells Fargo Center on January 11, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
The Big East's ranked basketball teams prevailed last night when the No. 1 Syracuse Orange defeated the Villanova Wildcats and the No. 24 Marquette Golden Eagles defeated the St. John's Red Storm. The Pittsburgh Panthers continued their downward spiral when they were blown out by the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
No. 1 Syracuse 79, Villanova 66: Syracuse didn't have much trouble in this game. By halftime, they already had a 43-24 lead. The bench for Syracuse outscored the starters 47-32. Villanova was going to need to play a perfect game to pull off an upset. They didn't. Poor shot selection doomed Villanova early and Syracuse build a big lead after the 10 minute mark of the first half and didn't look back. Leading scorer Maalik Wayns missed all 7 of his shots and finished with just 3 points. Mouphtaou Yarou led Villanova with a 12 point, 12 rebound night, but eight of his points and seven of his rebounds came in the first half. Dominic Cheek and JayVaughn Pinkston also had 12 points for the Wildcats. Dion Waiters scored 20 for Syracuse to lead all scorers. James Southerland chipped in 15 points for the Orange. For more postgame Syracuse coverage visit Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician or the SB Nation New York storystream. For more postgame Villanova coverage, visit The Nova Blog or the SB Nation Philly storystream.
No. 24 Marquette 83, St. John's 64: St. John's had a 32-31 lead after the first half of the play but couldn't pull off the upset as Marquette pulled away in the second half behind a career-high 22 points and 15 rebounds from Davante Gardner. Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder also did most of their damage for the Golden Eagles after the break. Johnson-Odom had 18 of his 20 points in the second frame while Crowder had 11 of his 15 points. After the Red Storm extended their lead to 34-31 right after halftime, Marquette responded with a 15-4 run to take the lead. As the Golden Eagles kept making their shots they quickly pushed the game out of reach. Gods`gift Achiuwa led St. John's with 20 points and 7 rebounds. Maurice Harkless added 17 points for the Johnnies. For more Marquette postgame coverage, visit Anonymous Eagle. For more St. John's postgame coverage, visit Rumble In The Garden or the SB Nation New York storystream.
Rutgers 62, Pitt 39: Just when Pitt didn't think it could get worse, Rutgers came into their building and blew them out. The Panthers shot just 4-31 in the first half. Rutgers held a 30-19 lead at the half and the second half played out much the same way as the first. The Rutgers defense played well again and ultimately held Pitt to 12 field goals. The Panthers made 11 free throws. J.J. Moore was the only Pitt player in double figures with 10 points. Rutgers was led by Eli Carter's 14 points. Dane Miller had a double-double for the Scarlet Knights with 11 points and 11 rebounds. A key to the victory for Rutgers was to outrebound the conference's leader in rebounding margin. They did, 51-35. The loss was the worst for the Panthers in 10 years at the Petersen Events Center. Rutgers improved to 2-2 in the Big East while Pitt fell to 0-4. For more postgame Rutgers coverage visit On The Banks or the SB Nation New York storystream. For more Pitt postgame coverage, visit Cardiac Hill or the SB Nation Pittsburgh storystream.
There are no Big East games on the schedule tonight. League play will resume on Friday when Seton Hall travels to play South Florida.