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The Big East Report: 1/13/09-1/19/09

Number One goes down.
This was a huge week in the Big East. There were some big games and some exciting moments.

January 14
South Florida (1-3) v. #1 Pittsburgh (4-0)
62-75 F
This game actually was moderately close for it being Pittsburgh and South Florida. Pitt pulled away in the second half though as Tyrell Biggs had 16 points and DeJuan Blair had 13 points and 18 rebounds. Levance Fields also contributed with 13 assists. South Florida’s Dominique Jones and Augustus Gilchrist each had 22 points a piece, but it was not enough to overtake Pitt’s dominating ball skills.

Rutgers (0-5) v. Cincinnati (1-3)
59-71 F
Poor Rutgers. Cincinnati had about an eight minute scoring drought in the first half, in which Rutgers led 36 to 29 at the break. But Cincinnati would come back and take the lead with 15:23 remaining in the game and they never gave it back. Cincinnati outscored the Scarlet Knights 42 to 23 in the second half. Cincy’s Deonta Vaughn led the way in scoring with 24 points, as well as earning eight rebounds in 37 minutes of play. Rutgers had four players in double digits scoring, and shot the ball better than Cincinnati overall, but it was not enough for Rutgers to get a Big East win. The Bearcats get their first.

#8 Syracuse (4-1) v. #12 Georgetown (3-2)
74-88 F
My postgame reactions here.

January 15
#4 Connecticut (4-1) v. St. John’s (1-3) (at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY)
67-55 F
UConn led by just one point at the half. It was close until about 16 minutes remaining and that is when Connecticut pulled away. Paris Horne of St. John’s did his part by leading all scorers with 24 points on nine of 13 shooting. Kemba Walker led the Huskies with 21 points, while Hasheem Thabeet had ten points, eight rebounds and five blocks. Jeff Adrien had 17 points and 11 rebounds. This game was closer than UConn would have liked though. St. John’s had a real shot here.

January 17

#1 Pittsburgh (4-1) v. #20 Louisville (4-0)
63-69 F
This was the showcase game of the week. This was a very tight game until about three minutes to go. I thought when Sam Young had a huge windmill dunk as the game winded down it was over. But upon the back of some clutch shooting from Louisville, they were able to overtake Pitt and win the game. Terrence Williams led Louisville’s scorers with 20 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Jermaine Dixon was the Panthers leading scorer with 19 points. DeJuan Blair was held to nine points but he did have ten rebounds. This was a very entertaining game and the #1 team in the nation ended their undefeated streak, as well as their stint at the top of the poll.

#14 Marquette (5-0) v. Providence (3-2)
91-82 F
Providence led this game until about 3:27 remaining when Marquette got up and finished ahead of the Friars. Marquette’s Lazar Hayward and Jerel McNeal finished with 25 points a piece, and Wesley Matthews had 22 points. For Providence, Marshon Brooks led scoring off the bench with 21 points. The story of this game however, is when Providence’s Jeff Xavier took an elbow late in the game. No foul was called on the play. The video seems to indicate it was a totally incidental elbow as he was defending the ball. During another players foul shots, Xavier’s brother Jonathan climbed over the bench and on the court, giving some words to the referee about how he thought there should have been a foul. He of course was escorted out and I assume arrested for trespass. Bizarre scene in the Big East as Marquette continues to roll along in the conference.

Cincinnati (2-3) v. DePaul (0-5)
59-55 F
It seems Cincinnati suffers from extreme scoreless droughts. This time it happened down the stretch and allowed DePaul to close a 15 point game down to two points. DePaul just could not close the game and win their first Big East game. Deonta Vaughn again led the Bearcats with 18 points, while Will Walker finished with 17 points for DePaul. This was a squeaker, but still not that great of a game in this conference.

South Florida (1-4) v. West Virginia (2-2)
59-62 F
South Florida playing tough on the road. Interesting. WVU led by 14 at the half, but USF outscored West Virginia 39 to 28, almost pulling the game out, but they could not. The Mountaineers were able to hit enough free throws down the stretch so that Dominique Jones couldn’t spoil their party. He finished with 35 points and eight rebounds however. WVU was led by Da'Sean Butler, who had 27 points of his own.

#13 Notre Dame (3-3) v. #8 Syracuse (5-1)
74-93 F
My postgame reactions here.

January 18
Seton Hall (0-5) v. #4 Connecticut (5-1) (at the XL Center in Hartford, CT)
61-76 F
UConn took the lead just after the 15 minute mark in the first half and would expand the differential after that. The led 46 to 22 at the half and maintained it by their stars making baskets and the big men getting rebounds. UConn’s A.J. Price had 23 points, Hasheem Thabeet had 15 points and 17 rebounds, and Jeff Adrien had 13 points and 12 rebounds. That is quite a lot of fire power. Jeremy Hazell had 20 points for The Hall, but with only two players in double figures they just could not keep up with the U of Conn.

St. John’s (1-4) v. #22 Villanova (2-2) (at The Pavilion in Villanova, PA)
57-76 F
Villanova never trailed in this game. St. John’s was outscored at the half 44 to 27. Villanova shot 58.8% from the floor, while St. John’s only made 38.6% of their shots. With that kind of performing it is no mystery what the outcome would be. Four Villanova players attained double figures, with Dante Cunningham leading with 17 points. D.J. Kennedy had 18 points for St. John’s, but poor offense doomed St. John’s from the start.

January 19
Cincinnati (2-4) v. Providence (4-2)
63-72 F
Providence led by a slim three point at the half. Then Cincinnati had the game tied at 38 with 14:37 remaining in the second half. But Providence then pulled away and finished with a nine point finish. Mike Williams finished with 21 points for Cincy. Providence had four scorers in double digits, led by Randall Hanke with 15 points. Providence defended their home despite only making three of 20 three point attempts.

#8 Syracuse (5-2) v. #4 Pittsburgh (5-1)
60-78 F
My postgame reactions here.

Weekly Awards
Team of the week: Louisville

Player of the Week: Deonta Vaughn

Best Game of the Week: January 17th – Pittsburgh v. Louisville

Worst Game of the Week: January 17th – Cincinnati v. DePaul

Kudos of the Week: Cincinnati for picking up their first two conference wins.
Shame of the Week: Tie between West Virginia for barely beating South Florida by three on their home court and DePaul for not managing to beat Cincinnati at home, losing by only four.

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2 Responses to “The Big East Report: 1/13/09-1/19/09”

  1. # Anonymous Mike

    Did you officially disown Georgetown from the Big East? I seem to recall them losing to Duke on 1/17 :-)  

  2. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    They did lose, but if you notice I only am covering conference games, that is a Big East school versus a Big East school only.

    Thanks for stopping by Orange::44 Coach K. Good luck with the season.  

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