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Big East Basketball Wrap-Up: No. 1 Syracuse, No. 9 UConn, No. 12 Georgetown Open Conference Play With Wins

Eight more teams opened their Big East slate on Wednesday. The No. 1 Syracuse Orange, No. 9 Connecticut Huskies, No. 12 Georgetown Hoyas and West Virginia Mountaineers all found themselves in the win column on Wednesday night.

No. 1 Syracuse 75, Seton Hall 49: Syracuse cranked up the defense in this game and made it a cakewalk. Their bench was emptied yet again by the end of it. Fabricio Melo set the Syracuse record with 10 blocks in the game. Melo also recorded his first career double-double as he had 12 points on the night. The Orange had 17 steals and forced 23 total turnovers from the Pirates. After the first half the Orange led 34-15. Syracuse shutdown the Big East's second leading scorer and rebounder Herb Pope who finished with 4 points and 9 rebounds. Jordan Theodore was the only Seton Hall player in double figures with 14 points. Dion Waiters led Syracuse with 15 points.

No. 9 UConn 60, South Florida 57: This result was the shocker of the night. The Bulls kept it close with UConn at half (via a 12-4 run to open the game) and down to the last minute the game. UConn head coach Jim Calhoun was not with the team as he was serving the first game of a three game suspension by the NCAA. Jeremy Lamb saved the day on the road with 16 of his team-high 23 points coming in the second half. Nobody else scored more than 9 points for the Huskies. Toarlyn Fitzpatrick led the Bulls upset attempt with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Augustus Gilchrist also reached double figures for South Florida with 12 points.

No. 12 Georgetown 71, Louisville 68: The Cardinals dropped their first game of the season against a red hot Georgetown team. The Hoyas trailed by three at the half despite trailing 12-3 at the 16:16 mark. Georgetown built a 59-49 lead with just 6:18 to play and held on as Louisville attempted a comeback. The Hoyas were second in the Big East in free throw shooting coming into the game. They shot 18-24 from the free throw line (better than their average) to seal the win. Markel Starks led the way for the Hoyas with 20 points (4-4 from three-point range). Otto Porter turned in a double double with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Kyle Kuric led the Cardinals with 17 points (5-13 from behind the arc). Peyton Siva had 15 points, 6 assists, 5 steals, 3 rebounds and a block for Louisville.

West Virginia 83, Villanova 69: The Mountaineers couldn't push the game out of reach at the half. After a shot at the buzzer was waived off, West Virginia led 40-36. The Mountaineers lost their lead and trailed almost halfway through the second half. The score was tied at 63 with 5:19 left to play before West Virginia put the clamps on and ended the game on a 20-6 run. Darryl Bryant went for a career-high 34 points in the win for West Virginia. Kevin Jones, the Big East's leading scorer and rebounder, finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds. Villanova was led by 20 point efforts from Dominic Cheek and Maalik Wayns.

There are three games involving Big East teams on the schedule for Thursday: No. 10 Florida at Rutgers (7 p.m., ESPN2); Vanderbilt at No. 13 Marquette (9 p.m., TV: ESPN2); Oklahoma at Cincinnati (9 p.m., TV: ESPNU).