The Big East was 7-1 in basketball action on Thursday. The conference record now stands at 18-2 this week after the No. 1 Syracuse Orange, No. 9 Connecticut Huskies, No. 10 Marquette Golden Eagles, No. 16 Georgetown Hoyas, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, West Virginia Mountaineers and Villanova Wildcats won and the South Florida Bulls lost.
No.1 Syracuse 80, Tulane 61: This game was not as close as the score indicates. The Orange used a 19-0 run during the last 7:04 of the first half to put the game out of reach. Syracuse emptied their bench and used 18 players. Kris Joseph, Dion Waiters and James Southerland reach double figures in scoring for the Orange. The team shot 51% from the field and hit 10-21 three-point attempts. Kendall Timmons led Tulane with 16 points. For more Syracuse postgame coverage, visit Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician.
No. 9 Connecticut 79, Fairfield 71: When I was writing the first half recap for this game at SB Nation Boston, I thought a 46-26 lead meant this one was basically over. Fairfield stormed back and cut the big lead down to three with 2:24 left to play. Consecutive baskets from UConn via a Ryan Boatright three-pointer and a Jeremy Lamb dunk iced the game. Rakim Sanders scored 12 of his 20 points in the second half to lead the Stags' comeback attempt. UConn's Shabazz Napier scored 16 of his 24 points in the first half. Andre Drummond just missed a double-double for the Huskies with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Like Napier, most of Drummond's damage was done in the first half. For more UConn coverage, visit The UConn Blog.
No. 10 Marquette 64, Milwaukee 50: Marquette bounced back from their loss to LSU and defeated Milwaukee for the 39th time in a row on Thursday. Despite a double-double effort from Ryan Allen (16 pts, 13 rebs), the Panthers never led. After a relatively close first half of play, the Golden Eagles got a comfortable lead within six minutes of the second half starting. Davante Gardner, Junior Cadougan and Darius Johnson-Odom each reached double figures in scoring. For more Marquette postgame coverage, visit Anonymous Eagle.
No. 16 Georgetown 70, Memphis 59: These teams met for the second time this season. The result was the same: a Hoyas win. Georgetown didn't need overtime this time around. Memphis never led. After taking a 35-28 lead into the break, the Hoyas opened up a 55-34 lead with 12:13 left to play. Jason Clark led Georgetown with 18 points. Hollis Thompson, Henry Sims, and Markel Starks also scored in double figures for Georgetown. For more Georgetown postgame coverage, visit Casual Hoya.
Rutgers 77, N.J.I.T. 53: Rutgers was tied with the Highlanders at 32 at halftime. Two second half runs of 18-0 and 12-1 for the Scarlet Knights pushed the game out of reach and sealed their third win in a row. Rutgers has won all five times they've played N.J.I.T. Myles Mack led Rutgers with 16 points. Gilvydas Biruta, Austin Johnson and Eli Carter also scored in double figures for Rutgers. For more Rutgers postgame coverage, visit On The Banks.
West Virginia 70, Missouri St. 68, OT: Mountaineers head coach Bob Huggins picked up his 700th career win last night. With the win West Virginia moves on to play No. 7 Baylor tonight in the Las Vegas Classic. The Mountaineers trailed by five with just 45 seconds to play. Gary Browne scored 13 points on the night, but hit two jumpers (including a three-pointer with a second left) to erase the Bears' lead. Caleb Patterson led the Bears with 18 points on 8-11 shooting. Kevin Jones had another double-double for the Mountaineers with 16 points and 13 rebounds. For more West Virginia postgame coverage, visit The Smoking Musket.
Villanova 73, American 52: Villanova has never lost to American University in nine meetings now. The Wildcats were able to start to pull away from the Eagles in the first half. Just as American started to close in at the beginning of the second half, a 12-0 run pushed the lead to 50-33. Maalik Wayns was battling an illness and started off on the bench. He and JayVaughn Pinkston led the Wildcats with 12 points. Dominic Cheek scored 10 points for Villanova on 4-6 shooting. For more Villanova postgame coverage, visit The Nova Blog.
Southern Miss 53, USF 51: Even though they only shot 1-15 from behind the arc, USF had a legitimate shot to win their first road game on Thursday night. The Bulls were able to cut a double digit first half lead down to 25-19 at half. USF gained the lead a couple of times in the second half but couldn't hang on to it. They made another run to close out the game but came up just short of Southern Miss' lead at the end. Darnell Dodson led the Golden Eagles with 12 points, 12 rebounds, 2 steals and a block. Ron Anderson Jr., Augustus Gilchrist and Hugh Robertson reach double figures in scoring for the Bulls. For more South Florida coverage, visit Voodoo Five.
There are six Big East basketball games on the schedule today: Western Kentucky at No. 4 Louisville (7 p.m., TV: ESPN2); Chicago St. at Cincinnati (7 p.m., TV: ESPN3); Providence at Rhode Island (7 p.m., TV: Cox); Seton Hall at Longwood (7 p.m., TV: SNY); Wagner at No. 13 Pittsburgh (8 p.m., TV: ESPNU); No.7 Baylor at West Virginia (9 p.m., TV: ESPN).