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Big East Basketball Wrap-Up: Notre Dame, St. John's Win As Conference Play Begins

Big East conference play began on Tuesday when the No. 22 Pittsburgh Panthers played the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Providence Friars played the St. John's Red Storm. The teams that had been tested by Top 25 competition (Notre Dame and St. John's) won handily on Tuesday.

Notre Dame 72, No. 22 Pittsburgh 59: The Irish have now made at least one three-pointer in 422 consecutive games. They used 7 threes to beat Pitt for the fourth time in a row on Tuesday. The Panthers were only 1-14 from behind the arc. Notre Dame trailed 26-25 after the first half. The Irish took the lead just 10 seconds into the second half. The teams traded the lead over the next five minutes. At the halfway mark of the second half, Notre Dame pushed the game out of reach with a 17-6 run. Alex Dragicevich led Notre Dame with 22 points (4-7 from behind the arc). Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant also reached double figures for the Irish. Talib Zanna led Pitt with 13 points and 12 rebounds. For more postgame coverage from the Notre Dame side, visit One Foot Down. For more postgame coverage from the Pitt side, visit Cardiac Hill.

St. John's 91, Providence 67: Providence got out to an 11-2 start this season. The Red Storm, breaking in a virtually completely new and shorthanded lineup, went 6-5 to start the season. Like Notre Dame, the Red Storm played games against Top 25 teams in non-conference play. Their tested players responded in the first game of Big East play by steamrolling the Friars. St. John's defense served them well, 20 turnovers were turned into 34 points. The game was over at half when St. John's jumped out to a 47-31 lead. St. John's freshman Maurice Harkless made history with 32 points (on 14-17 shooting), the most ever by a freshman in their Big East debut (Troy Murphy and Allen Iverson previously held the record with 30 points). Harkless also had 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks. Fellow freshman D`Angelo Harrison had 25 points and 7 assists for the Red Storm. Gerard Coleman led Providence with 20 points and 8 rebounds. For more postgame coverage from the St. John's side on the win and Harkless' historic night, visit Rumble In The Garden.

There are four games on the Big East schedule tonight (all conference games): Seton Hall at No. 1 Syracuse (7 p.m., TV: ESPN3); No. 12 Georgetown at No. 4 Louisville (7 p.m., TV: ESPN2); Villanova at West Virginia (7 p.m., TV: ESPN3); No. 9 Connecticut at South Florida (9 p.m., TV: ESPN3).