Six BIG EAST teams were in action overnight as five teams scored wins on their home courts.
Georgetown, which opened the season with a solid road win at Old Dominion last week, played in front of a home crowd for the first time and delivered a 69-53 win against Tulane at the Verizon Center.
The Hoyas’ outside shooting proved to be too much for the Green Wave as Georgetown was 12-of-29 from 3-point range. Guard Austin Freeman – the Preseason BIG EAST Player of the Year – had a game-high 23 points, including a 4-of-6 showing from outside the arc. Guard Jason Clark added 17 points with 11 rebounds and five steals for the 2-0 Hoyas.
Cincinnati opened its season with a 69-59 win against Mount St. Mary’s in the first round of the Global Sports Main Event at Fifth Third Arena. The Bearcats, who lost their top two scorers from last year in guards Deonta Vaughn and Lance Stephenson, saw redshirt freshman Sean Kilpatrick shoulder the scoring load Monday with 21 points off the bench. Forward Yancy Gates had 15 points and 10 rebounds for his eighth career double-double.
Rutgers scored its first win under new coach Mike Rice as the Scarlet Knights were 68-53 winners against Fairfield at the Rutgers Athletic Center. Rutgers took the lead for good midway through the first half and limited the Stags to just 23-percent shooting in the second half to get its first win of the year. Forward Jonathan Mitchell scored 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while guard Mike Coburn chipped in with 14 points and five assists.
USF also picked up its first win as forward Ron Anderson Jr. scored 16 points to lead a balanced offense in a 74-71 decision against Saint Francis (N.Y.) at the Sun Dome. Guards Shaun Noriega and Jawanza Poland had 15 points each, with Noriega delivering 14 in the first half. Depth proved to be the difference as USF’s bench outscored the Terriers’ reserves by a 38-14 margin.
Providence is 2-0, with both wins coming against Ivy League competition, after the Friars held off Yale 58-55 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Forward Marshon Brooks and center Bilal Dixon both contributed double-doubles, while guard Vincent Council scored a team-high 18 points. Brooks finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Dixon had 10 points and 14 boards for the Friars, who survived a late comeback bid by the Bulldogs.
Night owls on the East Coast were able to catch the debut of new St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin, who brought the Red Storm to Saint Mary’s for a 2 a.m. tap as part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. The Gaels, who have three returning starters from last year’s Sweet 16 team, held off a late St. John’s bid in a 76-71 win in Moraga, Calif. Freshman forward Dwayne Polee II scored a team-high 16 for the Red Storm in his first career start, while guard Malik Boothe added 15.
The rest of Tuesday’s schedule has five more BIG EAST teams in action. Louisville christens the new KFC Yum! Center with an 8 p.m. tap against 2010 NCAA runner-up Butler on ESPN. Villanova takes on Marist in the Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off at 5:30 on ESPNU and Syracuse hosts Detroit at 7. DePaul looks for a 2-0 start as the Blue Demons host Western Carolina at 8:30 p.m. Eastern, while Marquette welcomes Green Bay for a 9 p.m .ET start as part of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic.