Brief Big East Day 1 Recap

RESULTS

9) South Florida 58, 16) Depaul 49
10) Seton Hall 109, 15) Providence 106
11) Cincinnati 69, 14) Rutgers 68
13) St. John's 73, 12) Connecticut 51

GAME(s) OF THE DAY

The evening session saved the day after it appeared early on that the Big East tourney was about to go the way of the SoCon.

Seton Hall and Providence - easily the two worst defensive teams in the conference - shattered the Big East's 28-year-old tournament record for points scored in a game...by 29 points. They also nearly provided one of the most unbelievable stories in Championship Week history. 

After trailing by 29 points with 13:30 to go in the game Providence's Duke Mondy missed a three-pointer in the closing seconds that would have inconceivably sent the game into overtime. 

New Mexico State transfer Herb Pope had 27 points and 11 rebounds to lead the way for the Hall, while PC's Jamine Peterson went off for 38 and 16. The entire box score reads like a McDonald's All-American game. 

In the nightcap, Cincinnati's Rookie of the Year Lance Stephenson buried a free-throw with 1.8 seconds left to give the Bearcats a 69-68 win over No. 11 Rutgers. Stephenson purposely missed the second try and RU's Mike Rosario - who had hit a three-pointer to tie the game up seconds earlier - missed a desperation heave from beyond half-court. 

Cincinnati's Lance Stephenson sink's a free throw with 1.8 seconds left to beat Rutgers at the Garden.

"A one-point blowout is all you need at tournament time," said Cincy head coach Mick Cronin, who had been heavily scrutinized by the local media in the days leading up to the tournament. 

Speaking of coaches under fire, the game may have marked the last at Rutgers for Fred Hill, who has won just 13 Big East games over his four years as the front-man for the Scarlet Knights. 

TEAM OF THE DAY

It's been a while since positive talk has surrounded St. John's during tournament week, but that's the case this morning after the Red Storm throttled NIT-bound Connecticut 73-51 Tuesday afternoon. 

The win meant one more day for the Johnnies to entertain on their home floor, and one more day for embattled Norm Roberts to not have to talk about his job. 

DUD OF THE DAY

Connecticut appeared totally disinterested in saving its season or playing basketball at all, really. Don't be surprised if Jim Calhoun opts to turn down an NIT bid and bring this season to a merciful close. 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I'm ready to get started next week. I'm excited about the future." --Current Rutgers head coach Fred Hill

TUESDAY'S TOP PERFORMERS

--Jamine Peterson (Providence) - 38 points, 16 rebounds

--Mike Rosario (Rutgers) - 26 points

--Herb Pope (Seton Hall) - 27 points, 11 rebounds

--Dominique Jones (South Florida) - 20 points, nine rebounds

--Lance Stephenson (Cincinnati) - Game-winning free-throw

THE DAY AHEAD

Action takes a slight step up in competition as the four first-day bye teams join the fray.

Here's the schedule:

#9 USF vs. #8 Georgetown (Noon)
#13 St. John's vs. #5 Marquette (2pm)
#10 Seton Hall vs. #7 Notre Dame (7pm)
#11 Cincinnati vs. #6 Louisville (9pm)

 

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