Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Big East Briefs



Orange is the most feared color in the Big East, as Syracuse stands in first place with a 13-2 conference record. Junior forward Wesley Johnson leads his team in points, averaging 15.8 points per game, while grabbing 8.7 rebounds per contest.




The intense rivalry between the Orange and the Hoyas provided a victory last week for Syracuse (75-71), leaving the Orange 2-0 against Georgetown this season. Senior guard Andy Rautins scored a season-high 26 points, helping to build Syracuse’s 13-point lead at the end of the first half. Stunningly, the Hoyas made a comeback, but it was thwarted at the end of the game with two made foul shots by Rautins.




Following the win, ‘Cuse held off Providence 99-85. Forward Rick Jackson turned in a career-high 28


points, helping Syracuse seal a double bye into the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament. If victory comes for the Orange at Madison Square Garden, the biggest prize of the season will come in the form of a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs. Up next, Villanova will make the trip up to the Carrier Dome, where the Big East regular season champion will likely be determined.




Next: Saturday vs. Villanova, 9 p.m.; vs. GU: W 73-56 Jan. 25, W 75-71 Feb. 18








At the bottom of the conference, the Blue Demons have won only one of their 15 Big East games. After losing to Cincinnati, DePaul is now mired in a nine-game losing streak. Its one conference win this year came in a shocking one-point upset of Marquette. The victory marked an improvement for DePaul, which went winless in the Big East last season.




Although it ended in a loss, the Blue Demons’ best game this season came against Syracuse. DePaul built an 18-point lead at one point but lost by two.




Since former Coach Jerry Wainwright was fired in January, the Blue Demons are 1-11. The coaching change is just more evidence of the struggles DePaul has had ever since it joined the Big East in 2005 – the Blue Demons have had only one winning conference season in those years. Their NCAA tournament hopes are dead; only the greatest string of upsets in college basketball history in the Big East tournament could get them in at this point.




Next: Saturday at Rutgers, 4 p.m.; vs. GU: L 67-50 Jan. 3








The month of February has been much better than the month of January for the Scarlet Knights. From Dec. 28 to Jan. 26, Rutgers failed to win any of its nine games. The team reached its ultimate low point when senior center and captain Hamady Ndiaye and freshman forward Dane Miller called out their teammates following an embarrassing 94-68 loss to Villanova. Among other things, Ndiaye said that his team’s effort was unacceptable while Miller said his team did not play with heart.




These comments possibly helped to kick-start the Scarlet Knights. Starting Jan. 30, Rutgers proceeded to win five of its next six games, including three consecutive wins and an upset of Georgetown. With a game-high 24 points from Mike Rosario, Rutgers posted its first Big East win and its first win in a month over Notre Dame, 74-73. Rosario continued scoring in Rutgers’ next game with a career-high 33 points in an 84-72 victory over St. John’s.




The key for Rutgers over the past few weeks, however, has been the contribution of the supporting cast. Freshman forward Dane Miller has been a consistent source of scoring and rebounding, and in Rutgers’ upset win over Georgetown, junior guard Jonathan Mitchell scored a career-high 24 points.


The Scarlet Knights have returned to their losing ways over the past week. Rutgers was routed by Connecticut on Saturday 76-58, and it lost a tough contest to Seton Hall on Tuesday 76-70.




Next: Saturday vs. DePaul, 4 p.m.; vs. GU: L 88-63 Jan. 23, W 71-68 Feb. 14




Seton Hall




Last Wednesday night, collapse appeared inevitable for the Seton Hall Pirates (16-8, 7-8 Big East). While on the road at St. John’s, a gash in the right hand of junior guard Jeremy Hazell forced Seton Hall’s star guard to leave the game with 8:21 left in the first half. Before leaving the game, Hazell had scored all of Seton Hall’s first eight points. Seton Hall prevailed 59-50, however, as a result of a strong defensive performance and junior forward Jeff Robinson’s game-high 16 points and nine rebounds.




The Pirates continue to play consistent and solid basketball. Seton Hall’s only February losses have come at the hands of Big East teams in the AP Top 25. The Pirates have also won four of their past five games. Their only defeat in this run was a 75-63 loss to national powerhouse West Virginia.


Even though Seton Hall has received contributions from other players such as Robinson, Hazell still remains Seton Hall’s dominant scorer. On Tuesday, the junior guard led the Pirates with 25 points in their 76-70 win over Rutgers.




Next: Sunday vs. Marquette, 12 p.m.; vs. GU: L 85-73 Jan. 14








The Bearcats have seemingly remained on Joe Lunardi’s bubble the entire season. Since their torrid start, and the emergence of freshman Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati has cooled off, as has Stephenson. The highly touted guard has struggled against high-powered Big East opponents, scoring just two points in the Bearcats’ crucial 79-76 overtime loss to Marquette.




Since then, Cincy has rebounded with a win over DePaul in which sophomore Yancy Gates and Stephenson re-emerged with 23 and 18 points, respectively. These two – along with senior guard Deonta Vaughn – need to finish strong to get Cincinnati into the national tournament.


Cincinnati remains on the bubble but could play its way into the NCAAs over the course of its remaining schedule. The Bearcats’ last three games are against West Virginia, Villanova and Georgetown. Wins in one or two of these games would leave the team just a strong Big East tournament showing away from dancing for the first time since Bob Huggins coached them to March Madness in 2005.




Next: Saturday at West Virginia, 2 p.m.; vs. GU: March 6, 12 p.m.








The Friars showed some promise after a convincing victory over Big East power Connecticut late in January. Since that decisive win, however, Providence has dropped seven straight games, all within the Big East.




But it’s important to keep in mind that the Friars suffered this horrendous slide during the roughest stretch of any schedule in the country. They faced Syracuse twice, Villanova, Georgetown and West Virginia in a brutal February.




Unlike many of the other Big East cellar dwellers, Providence has significant star power in sophomore Jamine Peterson, who paces the Friars with 19.1 points and 10 rebounds per game. His production has stayed solid throughout this rough month, but the Friars need more consistent play from senior guard Sharaud Curry, who failed to play up to the occasion in many of this month’s key games. The team’s schedule doesn’t get much easier as they face the USF Bulls before battling Pittsburgh at hostile Peterson Events Center.




Next: Saturday at USF, 7 p.m.; vs. GU: L 79-70 Feb. 9

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