Sometimes life gets in the way of writing these check ins with the whole league. Sometimes you sleep until 10, and the day doesn't have time for everything and men's lacrosse and women's hoops recaps are more important. So let's wind the clock back to Saturday and look at those games before we crack into last night's action.
Georgetown 74, Xavier 52 - For a game that KenPom.com says that Georgetown only started with a 54% chance of winning, this was over quickly. The closest Xavier came to a charge in the game was when they cut it to 16-13 early. By the time the first half was over, the Hoyas were up 16 and it would never into single digits for the whole second half.
The impressive thing is that Georgetown was able to pull off this kind of a win on a day when Semaj Christon was dialed in. The super soph hit all five of his shots from the field and seven of his nine free throw attempts to finish with a team high 18 points. Markel Starks had 22 to lead the Hoyas, who also got 13 points from Jabril Trawick. Check in with Casual Hoya and Banners on the Parkway for more.
#9 Villanova 57, St. John's 54 - Brace yourself here: Ryan Arcidiacono took advantage of playing at the Wells Fargo Center and banked home a three pointer late in the game to give the Wildcats a lead, and four offensive rebounds, including two from JayVaughn Pinkston, forced the Red Storm's hand and allowed Villanova to come away with the win.
Those offensive rebounds kept the ball in the Wildcats' hands for more than two minutes and by the time the Red Storm scored next - a JaKarr Sampson free throw - it was clear that the moment had slipped past Steve Lavin's crew.
Darrun Hilliard led all scorers with 18 points for Villanova. Daniel Ochefu had just five points, but also contributed a game high 11 rebounds. Sampson had a double-double for SJU with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while D`Angelo Harrison was the leading scorer for the Red Storm with 15 points. VU Hoops and Rumble In The Garden have had a few days to figure this one out, so go see what they have to say.
#11 Creighton 72, Seton Hall 71 - Wait a minute. A Seton Hall team with Sterling Gibbs sitting back in South Orange went halfway across the country and put a scare into the #11 team in the country? Even more ridiculously, Doug McDermott and Ethan Wragge combined to miss FIVE straight free throws in the final 2:42, including TWO EACH in the final 21 seconds, and somehow the Bluejays still came away with the win??
It's not like this was some outstanding defensive effort by the Pirates. Creighton still finished with an eFG% of 60.4% for the game. But SHU did have a quality shooting night of their own (54.8% eFG%), and they helped themselves out by grabbing 10 offensive rebounds, and hitting 14 of their 15 free throws. Meanwhile, Creighton struggled from the free throw line. Yeah, they missed the last five, but 20-26 isn't a super effort, especially when the usually sure handed McDermott was 12-16 for the game all by himself.
What ultimately did Seton Hall in was going the final 5:45 without a bucket. They hit all eight free throws they took down the stretch, but the Pirates couldn't manage any more offense to put some pressure on Creighton as the game stayed close as the clock started to wind down.
Gene Teague had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Pirates, who were led by 21 points from Fuquan Edwin. McDermott took his usual spot atop the scoring table for the Jays, racking up 29 points and moving into the top 10 on the NCAA's all time scoring list. South Orange Juice and White & Blue Review can fill you in on the rest.
Providence 87, Butler 81 - Eleven straight points from Bryce Cotton in the first half boosted Providence up to a nine point lead, and by halftime, it was up to 13, 46-33. But this is Hinkle Fieldhouse, where everyone is in for a patch of rough skating. The Bulldogs ripped off a 17-2 run to start the second half that gave them a 50-48 lead with 15 minutes to go. Just past the three-quarters pole, Providence got a run of their own, this time outscoring Butler 13-5 to give the Friars some breathing room. PC made all six of their free throws in the final 30 seconds to eliminate any idea of a frantic comeback from the minds of Butler fans.
Cotton had a game high 28 points while playing the entire 40 minutes because that's what Bryce Cotton does. The rest of the Providence starting lineup was pretty consistent, with LaDontae Henton scoring 15 and the other three chaps rattling in 14 points. Kellen Dunham had 25 points in the losing effort. Butler Hoops can tell you a thing or two about a thing or two.