WVU Survives Cincy

By Landon Stolar, Palestra.net GEORGETOWN 69, SOUTH FLORIDA 49 NEW YORK — The second round of the Big East Tournament kicked off at noon Wednesday with 8th seeded Georgetown (21-9) knocking off 9th seed South Florida (20-12) 69-49. The loss will likely keep the Bulls out of the NCAA Tournament. “It took us longer than it normally does to figure out the rhythm of their offense and what we needed to do,” Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III said. “But I think our guys eventually figured it out. Our defense got better.” The Hoyas were led by outstanding guard play. Chris Wright finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, while Jason Clark added 16 points and 6 rebounds. Neither Hoya turned the ball over. “Jason and Chris made big shots when we needed shots,” Thompson III said. “Everyone’s contribution is key.” Georgetown moves on to play Syracuse in the Quarterfinals on Thursday. The game will mark the 13th time the two schools have met in the Big East Tournament—the most meeting between any two schools in tournament history. The series is tied at 6 wins a piece. MARQUETTE 57, ST. JOHN’S 55 After upsetting Connecticut yesterday, 13th seeded St. John’s almost pulled off another improbable win against the 5th seed Marquette. But down the stretch, it was the Golden Eagles making the plays. “We’re starting to learn how to play in close games,” Lazar Hayward said after the game.” We definitely understand that the value of our possessions are very, very vital for us. And hopefully that will transpire into the NCAA Tournament.” Twelve of the Golden Eagles’ 19 Big East games have been decided by 3 points or less. Two of those 12 were 2-point losses at the hands of Villanova—the same team Marquette will face tomorrow in the Quarterfinals. NOTRE DAME 68, SETON HALL 56 The night cap of the Big East Tournament’s second round began with a battles of bubble teams. 7th seeded Notre Dame (22-10) knocked off the 10th seed Seton Hall (19-12) 68-56 a day after the Pirates put 109 on Providence. “This was the most tired I’ve seen our team this entire year,” Seton Hall Head Coach Bobby Gonzales said after the game. “We just didn’t have our legs. It shows how important the bye is and how important the regular season is.” In his second game back from a knee injury, Like Harangody put up 20 points and ten boards for his 64th career double-double. “The last couple days of practice have been great for me just to get back in the flow,” Harangody said. “Just to get on the court tonight, hit a couple of early buckets, it was great for my confidence.” With both teams on the bubble, Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey says not to knock the Pirates just yet. “Keep Seton Hall on the board,” Brey said after beating the Pirates. “Right now I know everybody knee jerks. Give it two days and come back and look at the big picture.” CINCINNATI 69, LOUISVILLE 66 The second session of the Big East Tournament second round ended just as the first one did—with a nail-biter. 11th seeded Cincinnati pulled of the only upset of the day, knocking off the 6th seed and defending champions Louisville 69-66. “We attacked the basket tonight,” Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin said. “Guys did a great job in the second half. We ended up with 40 points in the paint. We get the ball in the paint, we get it on the rim, we can rebound the ball.” With a 3 point lead in the final seconds, Cronin was faced with the age old question: do you foul. They didn’t and Louisville Guard Edgar Sosa couldn’t get a shot off. But that’s not the way Cronin drew it up when he called timeout. “If you can believe it, we called timeout to foul him at half court,” Cronin explained. Deonta [Vaughn] claims he was fouling him the whole time. I was scared he was going to finally foul him when the shot attempt went up. I was going to be the laughing stock nationally.” Cincinnati was 0-3 in Big East Tournament games before this season. With two wins under their belt now, the Bearcats will look to keep the ball rolling against 3rd seeded West Virginia Thursday night in the quarterfinals. Palestra.net will be at Madison Square Garden to give you everything you need on the Big East Tournament. The Quarterfinals begin Thursday at noon with the 8 seed Georgetown taking on their long-time rival and top-seeded Syracuse.