WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 4: Hollis Thompson #1 of the Georgetown Hoyas takes a jump shot during a college basketball game against the Marquette Golden Eagles on January 4, 2012 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC The Hoyas won 73-70.. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
While the West Virginia Mountaineers obliterated the Clemson Tigers 70-33 in the Orange Bowl on Wednesday, there were four Big East basketball games going on as well. The No. 1 Syracuse Orange, No. 9 Georgetown Hoyas, Cincinnati Bearcats and West Virginia Mountaineers won on the hardwood last night.
No. 1 Syracuse 87, Providence 73: Providence scored 73 points on and hit 6-13 three-point attempts against a very good defensive team in Syracuse. Unfortunately for the Friars, the No. 1 Orange shot 61.1% and hit 10-17 from behind the arc. Syracuse led by just two points at halftime. Once the second half started, Syracuse made one of the runs they make every game to put the other team away. This time it was a 19-7 run over the first five minutes of the second half. Providence cut the lead to single digits but couldn't get within a possession of the lead before another Orange run. Six players reached double figures in scoring for the Orange on Wednesday. Scoop Jardine had 10 points, 11 assists and a rebound on the day he was named a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award. Brandon Triche led the Orange with 16 points. Vincent Council and Gerard Coleman tied for the Friars' scoring lead with 17 points.
No. 9 Georgetown 73, No. 20 Marquette 70: After the first half, the Hoyas looked to be heading for their first loss in 12 games. Georgetown trailed 43-29 after the first half. The Golden Eagles extended their lead to 56-39 with 13:10 to play. However, you could tell something was different about the second half. The Hoyas were hitting their shots, most of them in fact. Georgetown finally wiped out the 17-point deficit when Hollis Thompson hit a three-pointer with 22 seconds left to give the Hoyas the 73-70 lead. Georgetown shot a blistering 76% in the second half. The defense held Marquette without a field goal for a stretch of over 7 minutes in the second half as well. Jason Clark scored 26 for the Hoyas, 18 of which came in the second half. Hollis Thompson and Henry Sims also reached double figures in scoring. Darius Johnson-Odom led the Golden Eagles with 18 points. Jae Crowder and Todd Mayo also scored in double figures for Marquette.
Cincinnati 71, Notre Dame 55: Cincinnati got their suspended players back after six games. Yancy Gates had 6 points and 8 rebounds. Cheikh Mbodj had 2 rebounds and a block. Luckily for the Bearcats, they learned how to win without the suspended players. The win over Notre Dame was the 7th in a row for Cincinnati since the brawl with Xavier in the Crosstown Shootout. The Bearcats' defense held Notre Dame to 21 first half points, their second lowest output of the season. Cincinnati extended their 10-point halftime lead once the second frame started and cruised to an easy win over the Irish. Dion Dixon led Cincy with 18 points. Jeremiah Davis and JaQuon Parker also scored in double figures for the Bearcats. Jerian Grant had 17 points and Jack Cooley scored 15 points for Notre Dame, but no one else reached double figures.
West Virginia 85, Rutgers 64: Rutgers put up more of a fight in the second half on the basketball court than Clemson did on the football field against West Virginia. Like the football game, this was a rout by halftime. West Virginia jumped out to a 51-26 lead. The Scarlet Knights played better in the second half and outscored West Virginia 38-34 but it wasn't nearly enough to overcome the big deficit. The Mountaineers shot 56.8% from the floor and hit 7-13 three-point attempts in the win. Rutgers eventually shot 46.2% from the floor but was only 12-25 from the free throw line. Darryl Bryant led all scorers with 29 points (4-5 from behind the arc). Kevin Jones posted another double-double (his 10th of the season) with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Eli Carter led Rutgers with 19 points. Jerome Seagears chipped in 10 points for the Scarlet Knights.
There are two Big East games tonight: Pittsburgh at DePaul (7 p.m., ESPN2); South Florida at Villanova (8 p.m., ESPN3).