Big East Tuesday Recap

By Landon Stolar, Palestra.net SOUTH FLORIDA 58, DePAUL 49 NEW YORK — The Big East Tournament got underway with 9th seeded South Florida taking care of the 16 seed DePaul. Behind 20 points by Dominique Jones, the Bulls cruised to 58-49 victory. “Good win for our program,” South Florida Head Coach Stan Heath said. “We’ve never been here before. So in a lot of ways, I think we’ve accomplished things we’ve never accomplished before.” South Florida will face the 8 seed, Georgetown, Wednesday at noon. ST. JOHN’S 73, CONNECTICUT 51 It was the first upset of the tournament—albeit a minor one. 13th seeded St. John’s took down the 12 seed Connecticut 73-51. UConn could not overcome 20 turnovers as the Red Storm rode the hometown crowd to a victory. “It was a good win today. We also can’t celebrate this win,” said Malik Boothe, who finished with 8 points, 9 boards and 4 steals. “Last year we were in the same position going against the same team in the next round, and they pretty much had their way with us. We have to have the same focus tomorrow.” “That team” the Red Storm will face is the 5th seed Marquette. It will be the second game of the first session on Wednesday. SETON HALL 109, PROVIDENCE 106 With two relatively low-scoring games in the afternoon session, the evening session of the Big East Tournament broke that trend. 10th seeded Seton Hall (19-11) hung on against 15th seed Providence (12-19) 109-106 after nearly blowing a 29 point lead. It was an offensive clinic by both teams. All ten starters scored in double figures. Seton Hall is definitely a team that could use one more win to be on the right side of the NCAA Tournament bubble. But Pirate Head Coach Bobby Gonzales is the first to get that thought out of his players’ heads. “We’re just happy to survive and advance,” Gonzales said. “We’re playing on Wednesday night. We have 19 wins. We’re thrilled, we’re excited, we’re here.” Seton Hall will play 7th seeded Notre Dame at 7 PM. CINCINNATI 69 RUTGERS 68 Day one of the Big East Tournament finished with another close finish. 11th seeded Cincinnati survived against Rutgers, beating the 14 seed 69-68 in the final game of the Big East Tournament’s first round. Cincinnati freshman Lance Stephenson won the Big East Rookie of the Year award earlier in the day. With the game on the line, Stephenson showed why he deserves the honor by driving and drawing a foul to score the game winning foul shot. “I learned from the beginning of the season against Xavier not to settle for the jump shot,” Stephenson said. “So I went to the hole like I did in UConn and tried to get a basket or a foul.” The Bearcats will play Louisville in the second round of the Big East Tournament Wednesday night against the 6 seed, Louisville. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 PM. Palestra.net will be at Madison Square Garden to give you everything you need on the Big East Tournament. The action kicks off tomorrow when South Florida and Georgetown tipoff at noon.