Raphielle Johnson is live at the Big East Tournament all week. Check back in throughout the week for his updates.
Team of the Day: DePaul
The Blue Demons went into their first-round game with no conference
wins to their credit. But the sight of an opponent they played close in
January combined with the mindset that this was a new season resulted
in a ten-point win over a slumbering Cincinnati squad. Next up is a
Providence team that should be desperate for wins given their bubble
status, but at least Jerry Wainwright's young team gets to play another
Quote of the Day
"I told my kids 'here's the moment. You're either going to define the
moment or let it define you." St. John's head coach Norm Roberts on
his message to the team in the game's final minutes.
On the "clock": Providence
#16 DePaul 67, #9 Cincinnati 57
With DePaul being the opponent on Wednesday the Friars must be
impressive in advancing. No matter what DePaul did Tuesday they'll be
looked at as the team that couldn't win a conference game. A win
registers little; a loss and Keno Davis' team can plan something else
to do on Selection Sunday since there won't be a reason to watch.
Neither team got off to a good start, with the noon tip and a half-empty arena being the main culprits. But the Blue Demons were the first to wake up, eventually outscoring the Bearcats 20-2 in second chance points. Four players reached double figures for DePaul while Deonta Vaughn was the lone Cincy player to do so.
#13 St. John's 64, #12 Georgetown 59
Points off turnovers made up the final margin, with the Red Storm outscoring the Hoyas 13-8 in that category. Paris Horne led SJU with 23 points, three of which came on a shot from distance that gave the Red Storm a four-point lead with 2:36 remaining. The finishing play was a Justin Burrell dunk a minute later, with Greg Monroe committing his fifth foul on the play. Next up for St. John's is #5 Marquette.
#10 Notre Dame 61, #15 Rutgers 50
The Irish broke from character in the first game of the evening session, driving their way to an advantage of +8 from the foul line in the victory. Notre Dame also held the Scarlet Knights to 33.3% shooting from the field, making up for an off evening from Luke Harangody. Tory Jackson led Irish scorers with twelve, and every player that scored for Notre Dame had at least six points. Notre Dame will take on West Virginia Wednesday evening.
#11 Seton Hall 68, #14 USF 54
Jeremy Hazell may have led all scorers with twenty-three points, but the catalyst for the Pirates' second-half run was freshman guard Jordan Theodore. Seton Hall enjoyed margins of +7 in points off turnovers and +6 in second chance points, and they also broke even on the boards against the larger Bulls.
In their first-ever Big East Championship appearance USF was led by Dominique Jones, who finished with fourteen points. Even with just ten turnovers on the night the Bulls struggled with the Pirate pressure in the second half, shooting just 36.4% from the field. Next up for the Pirates will be Syracuse, who blew out a shorthanded Seton Hall team in the conference opener for both.