Two BIG EAST teams were in action on Thanksgiving Day, as DePaul lost a nail-biter with Oklahoma State and Notre Dame won a double-overtime decision over Georgia.
Notre Dame (5-0), who trailed by 12 points at the half, rallied for an 89-83 double-overtime victory in the opening round of the Old Spice Classic. The Irish held the Bulldogs scoreless for more than six minutes in the second frame, using a 14-0 run to force the first overtime. Senior forward Carleton Scott had seven of those points, finishing with 11 points and 11 rebounds in the contest. Notre Dame then outscored Georgia 20-14 in the second overtime, including knocking-down clutch free throws to come away with the victory.
Tim Abromaitis led the team with 25 points while Tyrone Nash added 18. Abromaitis started the final frame with a three-point play, and later drained a three to seal the victory for the Irish.
DePaul lost a back-and-forth battle with Oklahoma State 60-56 in the first round of the 76 Classic. The teams were tied at 27 at halftime, and then deadlocked seven different times in the second half. Four of the Blue Demons’ five starts notched double figures, with guard Mike Stovall leading DePaul with 13 points. The senior hit a driving lay-up with 26 seconds left to bring DePaul within two at 56-54 following a steal by Jeremiah Kelly. Kelly’s steal was one of 25 turnovers the Blue Demons forced in the contest.
DePaul (1-2) forced the ensuing inbounds pass to Oklahoma State’s Darren Williams and quickly committed a foul. Williams, a 64% free-throw shooter, drained both from the charity stripe to extend the Cowboys lead to four. Kelly came up with another big play on the next possession for DePaul, tipping in a Stovall miss to bring DePaul back within two with eight seconds left. The Blue Demons fouled Oklahoma State’s Marshall Moses on the inbounds pass, but Moses hit both free throws to seal the game. Moses led all scorers with 27 points.
Six BIG EAST teams take the court on Friday. No. 7/7 Villanova faces No. 24/24 Tennessee in the finals of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Also in action, No. 9/10 Syracuse battles Michigan, DePaul faces Cal State Northridge, and USF takes on BYU. Rutgers plays St. Joseph’s in the Philly Hoop Group Classic, and St. John’s rounds out the schedule against Drake in the Great Alaskan Shootout.