Top 25 Capsules: St. John’s tops Rutgers
NEW YORK (AP) – No. 17 St. John’s, despite not making a field goal over the final 4 minutes, got some of its Madison Square Garden magic back Wednesday with a wild 65-63 victory over Rutgers in the second round of the Big East tournament.
Dwight Hardy had 17 points for the fifth-seeded Red Storm (21-10), who improved to 8-1 on the Garden court this season with the win that sent them into the quarterfinals Thursday against fourth-seeded and 11th-ranked Syracuse (25-6).
It wasn’t great plays by St. John’s that will make this a memorable game. Big East commissioner John Marinatto issued a statement about 40 minutes after the game ended admitting there were two errors made by the veteran officiating crew.
The last minute that had two lead changes, two turnovers that were called, two that weren’t and two missed free throws finished with Justin Brownlee of St. John’s taking a couple of extra steps, stepping out of bounds and throwing the ball into the stands while the final 1.7 seconds ticked off the clock.
Rutgers coach Mike Rice ran around looking for an official to give him an explanation but they had walked off the court and the Red Storm had another big win at the Garden.
James Beatty had 15 points for the Scarlet Knights (15-17).
Marquette 67, No. 20 West Virginia 61
NEW YORK (AP) – Darius Johnson-Odom scored 11 points, including two big 3-pointers in the final minutes, and Marquette beat West Virginia 67-61 in the second round of the Big East tournament.
The 11th-seeded Golden Eagles (20-13) advanced to the quarterfinals, where they will face third-seeded and 14th-ranked Louisville (23-8) on Thursday night.
Marquette came into the conference tournament considered the last of the 11 Big East teams that could get a bid into the NCAA tournament’s field of 68. It seems the wins over Providence and West Virginia have made that an almost certainty.
Kevin Jones had 15 points for the Mountaineers (20-11), the defending tournament champions who went on to the Final Four.
No. 21 Connecticut 79, No. 22 Georgetown 62
NEW YORK (AP) – Kemba Walker scored 28 points in another stellar performance, and Connecticut remained alive in the Big East tournament with an easy victory over Georgetown.
Despite being the higher-ranked team, the Huskies (23-9) had fallen all the way to the ninth seed in the conference tournament and were forced to beat DePaul in the opening round just to face the eighth-seeded Hoyas. UConn now gets top-seeded Pittsburgh in the quarterfinals.
Georgetown (21-10) still has not won since losing guard Chris Wright to a broken left hand.
The senior spent the afternoon on the end of the bench dressed in a suit with a brace still covering up the injury. He was hurt Feb. 23 at Cincinnati, and coach John Thompson III has said that Wright could return for the NCAA tournament.
Jason Clark had 23 points and Austin Freeman scored 20 to lead the Hoyas, but the backcourt duo combined to go 2 for 13 from beyond the 3-point arc.
No. 25 Cincinnati 87, South Florida 61
NEW YORK (AP) – Yancy Gates was nearly perfect from the field, scoring a career-high 25 points and leading Cincinnati to a rout of upstart South Florida in the Big East tournament.
Gates was 10 of 11 from the field for the seventh-seeded Bearcats, who will play No. 2 seed Notre Dame in the quarterfinals Thursday night. His only miss came with 8:35 left in the game.
Dion Dixon added 21 points and Sean Kilpatrick had 12 for Cincinnati (25-7), which has won six of its last seven, matching the school’s biggest win total since the 2004-05 season.
That was the last time Bob Huggins was roaming the sidelines, and also the last time the Bearcats made the NCAA tournament.
Augustus Gilchrist scored 16 points and Shaun Noriega had 12 for No. 15 seed South Florida (10-23), which beat Villanova on a last-second basket in the opening round of the tournament.