That's right, there's no Big East action until six games on Saturday. Not even a random non-conference game. Let's get to last night's action!
#3/4 Louisville 73, Seton Hall 58 - So Gorgui Dieng's wrist is okay, huh? Season highs in points (16) and rebounds (14) for the Cardinals' big man was the key component to running away from the Pirates in the second half. Let's highlight this quote from Rick Pitino regarding Russ Smith:
That's possible every night with Russ Smith, because he's crazy and out of his mind and insane. If I had to vote for the Naismith Player of the Year right now, I'd vote for Russ Smith. But tonight, he had too much pressure on him. Every time he comes home, he puts so much pressure on himself and loses his mind.
- #7/7 Syracuse 72, Providence 66 - The Orange had to overcome 9 for 18 shooting from behind the arc from the Friars AND their own 3 for 21 shooting from distance to come back from a three point halftime deficit to win in Rhode Island. The key stretch of the game was late in the game where Providence went over five minutes without a field goal while Syracuse went on a 10-2 run. C.J. Fair had a 23-11 double-double for Syracuse, while Bryce Cotton led Providence with 24 points. Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician has more on the Orange comeback.
- Rutgers 58, St. John's 56 - Combined number of made field goals in the last five and half minutes: THREE. Combined number of attempted free throws in that stretch: SIXTEEN. Bleh. I refuse to discuss individual point totals in this game, since neither of the teams seemed to be interested in scoring, and will instead focus on this: The Red Storm's Chris Obekpa had five blocks last night to tie the SJU single season record of 76, set by Walter Berry back in 1985-86. It's January 10th. Rumble in the Garden and On The Banks have more for you.
- Villanova 61, South Florida 53 - And now Villanova is 2-0 in the Big East. Everyone who figured the team that got smoked by Columbia AT HOME was starting out 2-0, raise your hand. Yeah, that's what I thought. Mouphtaou Yarou powered the Wildcats attack with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Victor Rudd led the Bulls with 12 points. You can get more on Villanova from VU Hoops.