In the first full day of the men’s basketball season, BIG EAST teams went 7-3 against nonconference opponents.
No. 20/21 Georgetown rallied to beat Old Dominion on the road, 62-59. The Hoyas were led by Chris Wright’s 19 points, while Jason Clark added 18 and Austin Freeman had 17. The trio combined for 43 of Georgetown’s 51 second half points. The Hoyas snapped the Monarchs’ 23-game home winning streak- the fourth longest in the nation- dating back to January 2009.
Jim Boeheim moved into fifth place all-time in career coaching wins, tying Jim Phelan as No. 10/13 Syracuse defeated Northern Iowa 68-46 at the Carrier Dome. Three players, including Rick Jackson, Kris Joseph and Dion Waiters scored in double-figures. The Orange pulled away from the Panthers, an NCAA Elite Eight team in 2009-10, with a 21-5 run to start the second half. Jackson and Joseph had 14 points each to lead the team.
After making the Final Four a year ago, West Virginia started its season with a 95-71 win over 2009-10 Summit League Champion Oakland. John Flowers had a career-high 16 points and seven blocks. The mountaineers never trailed in the game, using a 15-6 run in the first half to take control, with Casdey Mitchell scoring nine of those points on three 3s.
Alex Oriakhi snatched a career-high 18 rebounds while scoring 11 points as the Connecticut Huskies defeated 2009-10 America East regular-season champion Stony Brook 79-52. Kemba Walker led the Huskies with 18 points, while Shabazz Napier made four three-pointers in his collegiate debut. Connecticut’s stingy second-half defense held the Seawolves to just 15 percent shooting, helping the Huskies lead by as many as 30 points. Watch Video Highlights
No. 6/6 Villanova notched a season-opening 68-52 win over Bucknell, as Corey Fisher scored 24 points (15 in the second half) to lead all scorers. It was defense that did the job for Villanova, holding Bucknell to 19-of-56 from the floor (33.9%) while outrebounding the Bison 43-29.
Five Golden Eagles scored in double-figures as Marquette rolled past Prairie View A&M 97-58. Jimmy Butler led all scores with 18 points, including 13 in the first half, while Davante Gardner was a perfect 7-of-7 from the field to contribute 17 points. Marquette jumped out to a 53-32 halftime lead and never looked back. The team won its 10th straight season opener.
Notre Dame coasted to a 98-61 victory over Georgia Southern, leading by as many as 44 points in the first half. The Irish shot a blistering 60.6 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, as Ben Hansbrough led all scorers with 20 points, knocking down 4-of-5 from three-point range. The Irish improved to 88-18 in season openers and are a perfect 11-0 under head coach Mike Brey.
New head coaches came up just short on the road in their BIG EAST debuts. Kevin Willard and Seton Hall made it interesting down the stretch against No. 22/22 Temple before falling 62-56. The Pirates finished the game on a 12-2 run after trailing by 16 points with just 4:16 remaining, but the squad ran out of time in their comeback bid. Jeremy Hazell led Seton Hall with 17 points, the only Pirate to finish in double-figures.
Mike Rice and his Rutgers squad took preseason Ivy League favorite Princeton into overtime but dropped a 78-73 decision to the Tigers. James Beatty scored 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting, while Mike Poole added 14 points in his collegiate debut. It was the first time Rutgers had opened its season on the road since 2004.
USF lost a 60-53 contest to Southern Miss, after the Golden Eagles went on a 15-0 run to end the game. The Bulls were held scoreless for the final 4:14. Sophomore transfer Jawanza Poland led the team in scoring in his USF debut, registering 12 points on 3-of-5 shooting from behind the arc. Jarrid Famous added 10 points and eight boards.
Only two BIG EAST games are scheduled for today. No. 5/4 Pitt looks to improve to 3-0 to start the year as the Panthers host North Florida at 4 p.m. Providence plays its season opener against Dartmouth at 7 p.m. at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.